Ten reasons to screen women at risk of lung cancer.
This opinion piece reviews major reasons for promoting lung cancer screening in at-risk women who are smokers or ex-smokers, from the age of 50. The epidemiology of lung cancer in European women is extremely worrying, with lung cancer mortality expected to surpass breast cancer mortality in most European countries. There are conflicting data as to whether women are at increased risk of developing lung cancer compared to men who have a similar tobacco exposure. The sharp increase in the incidence of lung cancer in women exceeds the increase in their smoking exposure which is in favor of greater susceptibility. Lung and breast cancer screening could be carried out simultaneously, as the screening ages largely coincide. In addition, lung cancer screening could be carried out every 2 years, as is the case for breast cancer screening, if the baseline CT scan is negative.As well as detecting early curable lung cancer, screening can also detect coronary heart disease and osteoporosis induced by smoking. This enables preventive measures to be taken in addition to smoking cessation assistance, to reduce morbidity and mortality in the female population. Key points • The epidemiology of lung cancer in European women is very worrying.• Lung cancer is becoming the leading cause of cancer mortality in European women.• Women benefit greatly from screening in terms of reduced risk of death from lung cancer.
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