Lung cancer will overtake breast cancer in the coming years as the leading cause of cancer death among women, according to a study published by Annals of Oncology, a medical journal, published by Oxford University Press.
The United Kingdom and Poland have already seen lung cancer surpassing breast cancer as the main cause of cancer deaths among women.
This current trend has to do with those women who started taking up smoking in the 1960s and 1970s and after such a long-term period of smoking, they are more likely to die of lung cancer.
Deaths from lung cancer have risen by 7% among European women since 2009.
On the other hand, breast cancer rates continue to fall, the researchers found. In the European Union, deaths from breast cancer have been declining with a 7% fall in rates since 2009.
The study’s authors predict that there will be approximately 89,000 breast cancer deaths, or 14.6 per 100,000 women, in 2013, compared with just over 82,500 lung cancer deaths – the equivalent to 14 deaths per 100,000 women.
The research was conducted by Professor Carlo La Vecchia from the University of Milan (Italy).
The data was gathered in 27 countries within the European Union and indicates that after an increase in the coming years, the cases of lung cancer will eventually decrease since the new generation of European women are smoking less.
So, the lung cancer death rate may start decreasing after 2020.