Smoking and lung cancer have been linked for well over 60 years. During that time lung cancer statistics have changed in both men and women in Canada and elsewhere.

The facts about lung cancer (also called bronchogenic carcinoma) reveal that the number of cases of this smoking related disease increase about 20 years after the prevalence of smoking increases. Accordingly, the number of cases diagnosed each year goes down about 20 years after smoking prevalence decreases.

Gender Based Lung Cancer Statistics

The rate of bronchogenic carcinoma cases among men has decreased and as far as woman and lung cancer go, the rates of new cases being diagnosed is starting to plateau.

Smoking cigarettes is by far the greatest cause of bronchogenic carcinoma in both men and women. Approximately 85 to 90 per cent of all cases of cancer of the lung, diagnosed each year can be attributed to the harmful smoking effects on the respiratory system.

Facts about lung cancer show that it is still the leading cause of cancer death in both genders in Canada, the US and Australia.

Historical Smoking Facts

While there were suspicions among health care practitioners at the turn of the century that smoking was somehow related to an increase in the number of cases of bronchogenic carcinoma, it wasn't until the 1950's that solid epidemiological evidence of the relationship between cigarette smoking and lung cancer started to accumulate.

In 1964 this evidence was so strong that the US Surgeon General's first Report on Smoking recommended that people quit smoking cigarettes.

Lung Cancer in Men

A lot of soldiers came home from the second world war addicted to tobacco because many governments provided them to soldiers free of charge. Subsequently, in the 1960 's the statistics started showing a significant increase cancer of the lung among men.

Smoking Facts in Men:

  • Cancer of the lung causes approximately 20 - 29% of cancer deaths among men depending on the country.
  • Men who smoke one pack a day increase their risk for bronchogenic carcinoma 10 times compared with non-smokers.
  • Men who smoke two packs a day increase their risk more than 25 times compared with non-smokers.
  • The number of new cases of among men started to plateau in the 1990's and is actually showing a decrease in the last decade.

Smoking Facts about Women:

Unlike their male counterparts, women were slower to take up smoking. It wasn't until many years after the second world war that the prevalence of smoking among women started to increase. Then with the women's liberation movement in the 1960's even more women began taking up smoking as a way to show their equality with their smoking fathers, husbands and brothers. The marketing message from the tobacco manufacturers was clear:

"If you are a liberated and a free woman, you can smoke and feel more independent."

Unfortunately many women bought that message and the result was that the number of new cases of bronchogenic carcinoma being diagnosed in women increased rapidly from 1972 to 1993.

As of 2005 cancer of the lung has surpassed breast cancer as the leading cause of cancer death among women in Canada, the US, and Australia. In Canada at least, the lung cancer rates among women are now reaching a plateau after continuously increasing for several decades.

Lung cancer rates among women have leveled off because the prevalence of smoking has decreased. The latest statistics show that less than 17% of women in Canada smoke cigarettes. Over time as more and more women quit smoking cigarettes, these lung cancer statistics should follow the same trend as in the male population and actually begin to decrease.

The Grim Facts About Lung Cancer Survival Rates

The grim facts about bronchogenic carcinoma are that the survival has not improved significantly in many decades. People do live longer with this disease because treatments have improved over time. However, most people will die of the disease within five years of hearing their doctor say:

"The test results are in. You have cancer of the lung."

Author's Bio: 

Lung cancer is one of the diseases caused by smoking. This is a smoking fact. But what is smoking fiction? At author Beverly OMalley has prepared information for you about both.