An analysis of World Health Organisation data concludes that lung cancer deaths among women are set to rise by 43%.between 2015 and 2030, while breast cancer deaths are projected to fall 9%.
“While we have made great strides in reducing breast cancer mortality globally, lung cancer mortality rates among women are on the rise worldwide,” said study author Jose Martinez-Sanchez. He’s director of public health, epidemiology and biostatistics at the International University of Catalonia (UIC Barcelona).
For the study, researchers analysed World Health Organisation data gathered from 52 countries between 2008 and 2014. The study authors concluded that the worldwide lung cancer death rate among women will increase from just over 11% in 2015 to 16% in 2030.
The highest rates in 2030 are projected in Europe and Oceania, and the lowest rates in North America and Asia. Only Oceania is predicted to see a dip in the rate of women’s lung cancer deaths – that’s just from 17.8% in 2015 to 17.6% in 2030.
“If we do not implement measures to reduce smoking behaviours in this population, lung cancer mortality will continue to increase throughout the world,” Martinez-Sanchez warned.
Meanwhile, he said, “we are seeing an increase in breast cancer mortality in Asia because this culture is adapting a westerniwed lifestyle, which often leads to obesity and increased alcohol intake, both of which can lead to breast cancer.”
Breast cancer is associated with many lifestyle factors, Martinez-Sanchez explained. “On the other hand, we are witnessing a decrease in breast cancer mortality in Europe,” he added. There may be greater awareness of breast cancer among Europeans, he suggested, leading to active participation in screening programs and treatment improvements.
Among women, lung cancer mortality rates have surpassed those for breast cancer in several countries. This reflects the breast cancer mortality declines due to access to screening and effective treatment alongside the entrance of certain countries in stages of the tobacco epidemic in which smoking becomes more prevalent in women. In this study, we project lung and breast cancer mortality until 2030 in 52 countries. Cancer mortality data were obtained from the WHO Mortality Database. Age-standardized mortality rates (ASMR), per 100,000, were calculated (direct method) for 2008 to 2014 and projected for the years 2015, 2020, 2025, and 2030 using a Bayesian log-linear Poisson model. In 52 countries studied around the world, between 2015 and 2030, the median ASMR are projected to increase for lung cancer, from 11.2 to 16.0, whereas declines are expected for breast cancer, from 16.1 to 14.7. In the same period, the ASMR will decrease in 36 countries for breast cancer and in 15 countries for lung cancer. In half of the countries analyzed, and in nearly three quarters of those classified as high-income countries, the ASMR for lung cancer has already surpassed or will surpass the breast cancer ASMR before 2030. The mortality for lung and breast cancer is higher in high-income countries than in middle-income countries; lung cancer mortality is lower in the latter because the tobacco epidemic is not yet widespread. Due to these observed characteristics of lung cancer, primary prevention should still be a key factor to decrease lung cancer mortality.
Juan Carlos Martín-Sánchez, Nuno Lunet, Adrián González-Marrón, Cristina Lidón-Moyano, Nuria Matilla-Santander, Ramon Clèries, Matteo Malvezzi, Eva Negri, Samantha Morais, Ana Rute Costa, Ana Ferro, Luisa Lopes-Conceição, Carlo La Vecchia and Jose M. Martínez-Sánchez