Study: Female, Male Smokers Face Equal Cancer Risk

An American Cancer Society study concludes that women smokers are no more at risk for getting lung cancer than male smokers, Reuters reported June 1.

“It’s unclear why some studies have pointed to an increased risk for women,” said Dr. Michael Thun, chief epidemiologist for the American Cancer Society, who helped lead the study. “But this unprecedented review should help us focus on broad strategies that will be relevant to preventing tobacco use for everyone.”

Starting in the mid-1960s, when more women began to smoke, lung cancer rates among females began rising significantly.

The latest study, which was conducted with researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Mass., included statistics on 85,000 men and women.

“Our data indicate that women are not at an excess risk of lung cancer compared to men, given similar smoking levels and smoking histories,” said Brigham and Women’s researcher Diane Feskanich.

The study’s findings are published in the June 2 issue of The Journal of the National Cancer Institute.