6th August 2018

Mums at risk as lung cancer rates in women set to increase

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The number of women who die of lung cancer is set to increase by 43 per cent by 2030, according to latest research.

Figures published in the journal ‘Cancer Research’ last week predict lung cancer mortality in women will increase globally, with wealthier nations expected to have the highest death rates within 12 years.

Europe and Oceania (Australia and New Zealand) are expected to have the highest rates of all, as the impact of tobacco firms targeting women unfolds.

Paula Chadwick, chief executive of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation, comments:

“We are running the risk of losing more mums and daughters, more sisters and nannas, more aunties and friends because of the harmful legacy created by tobacco companies.

“Lung cancer already kills more women than breast and ovarian cancers combined. These figures are saying it going to get worse, much worse, which is why we are campaigning for the roll out of lung health checks as well as our ultimate aim to implement a national lung cancer screening programme.

“As the only UK lung cancer charity, we also work tirelessly to raise awareness of this disease including breaking down the dangerous misconception that it is ‘only a smokers’ disease.

“If you have lungs, you can get lung cancer. Far too many people don’t know this and could therefore miss life-saving signs and symptoms.”

“These figures are predictions. This means we have an opportunity to ensure it does not become a reality. “

Paula Chadwick, CEO of Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

“We need to talk about lung cancer more; the more we talk about it, the more commonplace it becomes and the more aware people are to it and its potential symptoms. We have seen how vital this has been for breast cancer and now, breast cancer deaths are set to fall for this same period.

People should not be ashamed to have lung cancer and yet, there is this heartbreaking attitude that people with lung cancer ‘brought it on themselves’. As a result, they are left feeling judged and isolated at a time when all they need and deserve is support.

The finger is never pointed at the real culprits – the tobacco giants who make its products as addictive as possible, who played on people’s vulnerability; the lure of weight loss and the glamourising of cigarettes without a hint of the dangers is why we are on the brink of this epidemic.

Yet, blame is instead placed on the individual. That is wrong. It is dangerous. It must stop.”

If you agree and want to help Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation continue to challenge this stigma, please get in touch and share your story.