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  • Lung cancer surpasses breast cancer as the number one cause of cancer mortality in women. [1]

  • Lung cancer mortality rates for men are decreasing while the rates for women are increasing. [2]

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both developed and developing countries.

  • Lung cancer incidence today reflects the smoking patterns seen 20 to 30 years ago.[1]

  • 80-90% of lung cancer cases are attributed to smoking. [3]

  • More women than men with lung cancer are non-smokers[4]

  • Women have more difficulty than men in quitting smoking, and have higher relapse rates.

  • In 1999 28% of 15-19 year olds smoked, by 2003 this had decreased to 18%. More girls (20%) smoked than boys (17%).[3]

  • Young adults (20-24 year olds) have shown a slight decrease in smoking rates but continue to have the highest rates of smoking of all age groups  at 28% (23% men vs 19% women).[3]

Health Canada is concerned about lung cancer, and their web-site can be a good resource for patients, check it out first.    For the Canadian Cancer Society statistics on cancer in Ontario, click here.


1. Alexiou, C., Onyeaka, P., Beggs, D., Akar, R., Beggs, L., Salama, F.D., Duffy, J.P., Morgan, W.E. (2002) Do women live longer following resection for carcinoma? European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 21:319-325.

2. Baldini, E.H., Strauss, G.M. (1997) Women and Lung Cancer: Waiting to Exhale. Chest, 112 (4 Suppl): 229S-234S

3. Health Canada, The 2004 Progress Report on Tobacco Control. accessed: January 19, 2006\

4. the National Cancer Institute of Canada accessed March 25, 2006

All references for this section