Detection Disparities Prognosis

Women’s lung cancer is often diagnosed late and treated less aggressively than men’s lung cancer, despite being the leading cause of cancer death among women.

Women are challenged by a lung cancer diagnosis on multiple levels, which makes their treatment more complex, but the issues often go unaddressed (Clin Lung Cancer 2024;25[1]:1-8).

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death for women in many countries including the United States, the experts noted in a review about women and lung cancer. Even if they have no history of smoking, women are exposed to unique risk factors such as indoor pollution and secondhand smoke that are largely understudied, yet they continue to lack representation in lung cancer clinical trials, they said.

“Clinicians should understand the unique factors and consequences associated with lung cancer in women; thus, a holistic approach that acknowledges environmental and societal factors is necessary,” they wrote.

Lead study author Narjust Florez, MD, the associate director of the cancer care equity program at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, both in Boston, said she has met female patients who were surprised to be diagnosed with lung cancer because the disease is not commonly thought to affect women.

Read full article