According to recent reports, women are increasingly becoming more likely to develop lung cancer than men – including those that have never smoked. The reasons behind this phenomenon are not understood. Nonetheless, data shows that women that never smoked develop lung cancer in 14.4 to 20.8 per 100,000 people. Men, on the other hand, develop lung cancer in 4.8 to 13.7 per 100,000 people. In all, it is estimated that 8% to 20% of people with lung cancer have never smoked.
A couple theories have been created to explain this shocking finding. One theory is that more women are affected by second-hand smoke because more men smoke than women and women may be exposed to second-hand smoke on a more frequent basis. These women would still fall under the category as people that have never smoked.
Another theory is that exposure to certain environmental factors that lead to lung cancer may be more common for women. Dietary factors and genetic factors are other theories under investigation. Despite the various theories, no one knows or sure why non-smoking women are becoming increasingly victimized by lung cancer.
There is good news to report, however. For example, lung cancer victimized that never smoked are more likely to respond positively to drug therapy. In addition, they have a higher survival rate than their smoking counterparts.