Why is the Lung Cancer rate increasing?

Lung cancer rates are increasing in people who have never smoked, according to two new studies presented here at the 16th World Conference on Lung Cancer.

Lung cancer is broken into Small Cell (decreasing and almost exclusively a smokers disease) Non Small Cell  NSCLC (This has several subtypes which are categorised by their histologies).  Adenocarcinoma is the one which is rising and affecting increasing proportion of non-smokers.  When you look at Adenocarcinoma alone the stats are much higher than all NSCLCs combined.  Figures below combine both.

Australia now has the highest incidence of cancer in the world, surpassing Amercia. This includes all cancers.  [WHO]. Highest mortality from cancer in Australia is lung cancer. [Cancer Statistics Australia].

In fact, at one institution, the incidence of never-smokers diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) jumped from 13% to 28% during a 6-year period, Eric Lim, MD, from the Royal Brompton & Harefield NHS Foundation Trust in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues report in their study. And many of these patients initially presented with advanced-stage disease.

The second study demonstrated that the incidence of lung cancer in never-smokers is increasing in the United States. This was observed in three facilities, most significantly for NSCLC. At one institution, for example, the rate of never-smokers climbed from 8.9% in 1990–1995 to 19.5% in 2011–2013.

“When we think of lung cancer, we think of smoking,” Dr Lim noted. But antismoking strategies implemented in the early 1980s have led to a decrease in smoking-related lung cancer.

Instead, “what we are seeing is an increase in the incidence of nonsmoking-related lung cancer,” he explained during a press briefing. “We have seen more than double the amount of patients coming to us.” Continue Reading…

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