November 11, 2019

Lung cancer in women

What if we told you lung cancer affects more women than breast cancer, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer combined?

It’s true. Once considered a “man’s disease,” lung cancer is no longer discriminatory and women need to be aware. Overall, the chance that a woman will develop lung cancer in her lifetime is about 1 in 17. 

Lung adenocarcinoma, a type of non-small cell lung cancer that typically develops in the outer regions of the lungs, is the most common type of lung cancer in women. It also tends to be the lung cancer type least associated with smoking. 

Lung adenocarcinoma tends to grow more slowly than other lung cancers and can grow large or spread before causing any symptoms. Symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath or chest and back pain, may be the first indicator that something is wrong. It is important to visit with your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms. 

While lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in women, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. Quitting smoking, avoiding second hand smoke, exercising and eating healthy are all ways you can help reduce your risk. You should discuss your lung cancer risk with your doctor and what steps you can take to reduce your risk, including getting appropriate lung cancer screenings. 

The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus offers a Lung Cancer Screening Program for eligible candidates. Call 785-295-8958 to speak to a Radiology Nurse Navigator to learn more.

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