In an alarming new research study, researchers have stated that lung cancer mortality rates among women could increase by 43% by 2030. The findings are according to an analysis of data from 52 countries. The global age-standardised breast cancer mortality rate is projected to decrease by 9% in the same time frame.
Globally, among women, the mortality rate for lung cancer is projected to increase from 11.2 in 2015 to 16.0 in 2030; the highest lung cancer mortality rates in 2030 are projected in Europe and Oceania, while the lowest lung cancer mortality rates in 2030 are projected in America and Asia. Only Oceania is predicted to see a decrease in lung cancer mortality, which is projected to fall from 17.8 in 2015 to 17.6 in 2030.
“Different timelines have been observed in the tobacco epidemic across the globe,” said study author Jose M Martinez-Sanchez. “This is because it was socially acceptable for women to smoke in the European and Oceanic countries included in our study many years before this habit was commonplace in America and Asia, which reflects why we are seeing higher lung cancer mortality rates in these countries.”
An increase in breast cancer mortality in Asia is seen because the culture is adapting a Westernised lifestyle. (Shutterstock)
Globally, the mortality rate for breast cancer is projected to decrease from 16.1 in 2015 to 14.7 in 2030. The highest breast cancer mortality rate is predicted in Europe with a decreasing trend overall, while the lowest breast cancer mortality rate is predicted in Asia with an increasing trend overall. “Breast cancer is associated with many lifestyle factors,” Martínez-Sanchez explained.“We are seeing an increase in breast cancer mortality in Asia because this culture is adapting a Westernised lifestyle, which often leads to obesity and increased alcohol intake, both of which can lead to breast cancer. On the other hand, we are witnessing a decrease in breast cancer mortality in Europe, which may be related to the awareness of breast cancer among this population, leading to active participation in screening programs and the improvement of treatments.”
Compared to middle-income countries, high-income countries have the highest projected age-standardised mortality rates for both lung and breast cancer in 2030. However, high-income countries are more likely to have decreasing breast cancer mortality rates. Furthermore, the first to witness lung cancer mortality rates surpass breast cancer mortality rates are mostly developed countries, noted Martínez-Sanchez.
“This research is particularly important because it provides evidence for health professionals and policymakers to decide on global strategies to reduce the social, economic, and health impacts of lung cancer among women in the future,” said Martínez-Sanchez. The findings appear in the journal Cancer Research.