Female lung cancer cases top 20,000

Cases of lung cancer in women have reached 20,000 a year in the UK for the first time since records began.

Female lung cancer cases top 20,000The figure for 2012 represents a rise from 14,000 in 1993, according to the data compiled by Cancer Research UK.

It means the rate of lung cancer in the female population has risen by 22% to 65 cases per 100,000 people.

The trend is the opposite of what is happening with men and is linked to smoking-  which peaked in men in the 1940s but in women peaked in the 1970s.

About 24,000 men are diagnosed with lung cancer each year, which means it is the second most common cancer for both sexes.

Prof Caroline Dive, from Cancer Research UK, said: “It really is devastating to see that the number of women diagnosed with lung cancer continues to climb.”

“We also know survival remains poor and one of the problems is that lung cancer tends to be diagnosed at a late stage when it has already spread.”

That makes it hard to treat and as a result lung cancer claims the lives of 35,000 people each year.

Just 10% of people live for five years after diagnosis – compared with more than 80% for breast and prostate cancer.

Prof Dive said efforts were being made to tackle this with lung cancer one of its key priorities of its research strategy.

The work focuses on a new technique to carry out a biopsy using magnets to capture rogue cancer cells in the blood of patients – potentially providing vital information on the biology of the disease, which could help improve treatment.

But as well as investing in new treatment techniques, Nell Barrie, senior science communication manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “It’s vital that we keep on fighting against lung cancer.”

“It’s the biggest cancer killer in the UK so the government and health service must work to help smokers quit by providing more stop smoking services to help people give up this deadly addiction.”

Health Direct laments the sad increase in female lung cancers as these deaths are wholly preventable.

Number of children with asthma admitted to hosptal falls since smoking ban

The number of children with symptoms of asthma who have been admitted to hospital  has fallen since the ban on smoking in public places came into effect.Number of children with asthma admitted to hosptal falls since smoking banResearch shows there was a 12.3% fall in admissions in the first year after the law came into place in July 2007, and these have continued to drop in subsequent years, suggesting that the benefits of the legislation were sustained over time.

NHS statistics analysed by researchers at Imperial College London showed the fall was equivalent to 6,802 fewer hospital admissions in the first three years of the law coming into effect.

The findings Hospital Admissions for Childhood Asthma After Smoke-Free Legislation in England have been published in the journal Pediatrics.

Asthma affects one in every 11 children in the UK.

Before the ban was implemented, hospital admissions for children suffering a severe asthma attack were increasing by 2.2% per year, peaking at 26,969 admissions in 2006/07.

The findings show the trend reversed immediately after the law came into effect, with lower admission rates among boys and girls of all ages, in both wealthy and poor neighbourhoods and in cities and rural areas.

Previous studies have shown that hospital admissions for childhood asthma fell after smoke-free legislation was introduced in Scotland and North America.

The smoking ban in England has also been found to have reduced the rate of heart attacks.

Dr Christopher Millett, from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health, led the study.

He said: “There is already evidence that eliminating smoking from public places has resulted in substantial population health benefits in England, and this study shows that those benefits extend to reducing hospital admissions for childhood asthma.

“Previous studies have also suggested that the smoke-free law changed people’s attitudes about exposing others to second-hand smoke and led more people to abstain from smoking voluntarily at home and in cars.

“We think that exposing children to less second-hand smoke in these settings probably played an important role in reducing asthma attacks.

“The findings are good news for England, and they should encourage countries where public smoking is permitted to consider introducing similar legislation.”

Smoking in the mornings increases cancer risk

Smoking soon after getting up in the morning is more likely to increase the risk of cancer than those who light up later in the day.
Smoking in the mornings increases cancer riskA study of 7,610 smokers, published in the journal Cancer, said the effect was independent of other smoking habits.

Smoking in the first 30 minutes after waking nearly doubled the, already high, risk of lung cancer.

Cancer Research UK suggested people who were quick to smoke may inhale more smoke into the lungs.

Scientists at the Penn State College of Medicine in the US looked at 4,776 smokers with lung cancer and 2,835 smokers without cancer.

They showed that patients who smoked in the first 30 minutes after waking up were 79% more likely to have developed cancer than those who waited at least an hour.

The researchers said that the “time to first cigarette” effect was present even after they statistically adjusted for other factors such as the number of cigarettes smoked in a day.

Another study in the same journal looked at 1,850 smokers, 1,055 of whom had head and neck cancers. It said people who smoked in the first half hour were 59% more likely to have developed a tumour than those who waited at least an hour.

The authors admit: “It is uncertain what explanation there is for the relationship”.

Dr Joshua Muscar, lead researcher, said: “These smokers have higher levels of nicotine and possibly other tobacco toxins in their body, and they may be more addicted than smokers who refrain from smoking for a half hour or more.”

Cancer Research UK’s Professor Robert West said: “Smokers who light up soon after waking tend to smoke each cigarette more intensively.

“So the most likely explanation of this finding is that the sooner a smoker lights up, the more smoke is taken into the lungs, and the higher the level of exposure to cancer causing chemicals.

“This may help estimating levels of tobacco exposure more than just looking at the usual daily cigarette consumption.”

From: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-14411744