In stark contrast to a few decades ago when lung cancer was predominantly a disease of men who smoke, incidence rates of lung cancer in women are now comparable to or higher than those in men and are rising alarmingly in many parts of the world. Women face a unique set of risk factors for lung cancer compared to men. These include exogenous exposures including radon, prior radiation, and fumes from indoor cooking materials such as coal, in addition to endogenous exposures such as oestrogen and distinct genetic polymorphisms. Current screening guidelines only address tobacco use and likely underrepresent lung cancer risk in women. Women were also not well represented in some of the landmark prospective studies that led to the development of current screening guidelines. Women diagnosed with lung cancer have a clear mortality benefit compared to men even when other clinical and demographic characteristics are accounted for. However, there may be sex-based differences in outcomes and side effects of systemic therapy, particularly with chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Ongoing research is needed to better investigate these differences to address the rapidly changing demographics of lung cancer worldwide.
View details for DOI 10.1183/16000617.0100-2021
View details for PubMedID 35022255