Shedding Light on 'Hidden' Patients: Women With Lung Cancer

New report focuses on disparities in funding, incidence, survival
By Marie Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 27, 2010 12:12 PM CDT
Shedding Light on 'Hidden' Patients: Women With Lung Cancer
A chest X-ray used to detect early-stage lung cancer. Women diagnosed with the disease survive longer than men, new research shows.   (PRNewsFoto/Cleveland Clinic and Riverain Medical)

The number of women diagnosed with lung cancer is soaring, but federal funding for research lags even though the disease is more common than cancer of the breast, prostate, and colon—combined. A new report drills down on research about women and lung cancer, sorting out findings about incidence, gender disparities, and survival. Perhaps most interesting, "all federal spending for lung cancer research amounts to $1,249 for each lung cancer death," Richard Know writes for NPR. "Spending for breast cancer research is 21 times higher—$27,480 per death."

This funding disparity is easy to explain, Melissa Healy blogs for the LA Times: It relates to "the rather cruel assumption, given its strong link to smoking, that this is a cancer one brings upon oneself." But three times as many women who have never smoked are lung cancer patients than men who have never smoked. (More lung cancer stories.)

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