Why are lung cancer deaths in non-smokers on the rise? The proportion of non-smoker lung cancer patients jumped from 8% in 1990 to 15% in 2013.
Why are lung cancer deaths in non-smokers on the rise? New research out of Britain and the U.S. reveals a troubling development. The proportion of non-smokers developing lung cancer has risen markedly. (“Non-smokers” are defined as people who have never at any time smoked.)
One American study of three major hospitals found that the proportion of lung-cancer patients who were non-smokers jumped from eight per cent in 1990 to 15 per cent in 2013.
Another study found that across the U.S., female non-smokers amounted to 20 per cent of lung-cancer cases, while male non-smokers made up nine per cent.
The trend in Britain is even more pronounced. The number of non-smoking lung-cancer patients rose from 13 per cent in 2008 to 28 per cent in 2014.
This is no small concern. In Canada, more people die from lung cancer than from colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined. It is the leading cause of cancer fatalities nationwide.
Lung cancer deaths in non-smoker men vs. non-smoker women.
In men, it accounts for 25 per cent of all cancer deaths, compared to colorectal cancer at 12 per cent and prostate cancer at 10 per cent.
Among women, lung cancer causes 26 per cent of all cancer deaths, followed by breast cancer at 13 per cent and colorectal cancer at 11 per cent.
These figures in themselves are all the more striking, because it is generally believed that breast cancer and prostate cancer pose more of a risk. Yes, lung cancer survival rates are poor, though recent years have seen improvements in life expectancy of around two per cent annually.