Data for lung cancer incidence and smoking in developed countries has not been well documented. It is estimated that 8% of women in developing countries currently smoke compared to 15% in developed countries.
In India, lung cancer has become one of the top three causes of deaths in males. China has the highest tobacco consumption as well as the highest tobacco related deaths. In developed countries, environmental exposure is a major factor as coal is the major energy and cooking source. Studies in China show that females living in homes where there is no separate kitchen or a kitchen with poor air circulation are at higher risk of lung cancer.
Another study done with Caucasian females found that there was a higher risk of lung cancer if they were exposed to coal burning during their childhood. In some countries, such as India, cigarette smoking does not take into account the use of smokeless tobacco, which is used by 22% of rural women in India.
2. Radzikowska, E., Glaz, P., Rozkowski, K. (2002) Lung cancer in women: age, smoking, histology, performance status, stage, initial treatment and survival. Population-based study of 20,561 cases. Annals of Oncology, 13: 1087-1093.