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Women Unaware Of High Risk For Lung Cancer

KYW Medical Reports Sponsored By Independence Blue Cross

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Can you name the leading cause of cancer deaths among women?

It's not breast cancer.

Actually, lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer deaths in US women. In fact, lung cancer causes more deaths than colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer combined.

While the disease is on the decline among men, diagnosis and death rates in women continue to rise. The reason that I bring up breast cancer and stress the importance of lung cancer is not to minimize the need to try and detect breast cancer early. It is because in a recent American Lung Association survey, half of the women said they weren't concerned about lung cancer since they had successfully quit smoking or never smoked at all.

Remember, smoking is the biggest risk factor. But one in 10 cases occur in people who have never smoked a day in their lives and women younger than age 45 are more likely than men of the same age to develop the disease.

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