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Developed vs Developing Countries


Data for lung cancer incidence and smoking in developed countries has not been well documented. It is estimated that 8% of women in developing countries currently smoke compared to 15% in developed countries[1].

In India, lung cancer has become one of the top three causes of deaths in males[2]. China has the highest tobacco consumption as well as the highest tobacco related deaths[2]. In developed countries, environmental exposure is a major factor as coal is the major energy and cooking source. Studies in China show that females living in homes where there is no separate kitchen or a kitchen with poor air circulation are at higher risk of lung cancer[3].

Another study done with Caucasian females found that there was a higher risk of lung cancer if they were exposed to coal burning during their childhood[3]. In some countries, such as India, cigarette smoking does not take into account the use of smokeless tobacco, which is used by 22% of rural women in India.


1. Siegfried, J.M. (2001) Women and lung cancer: does oestrogen play a role? Lancet Oncol, 2: 506-13.

2. Radzikowska, E., Glaz, P., Rozkowski, K. (2002) Lung cancer in women: age, smoking, histology, performance status, stage, initial treatment and survival. Population-based study of 20,561 cases. Annals of Oncology, 13: 1087-1093.

3. Ernster, V.L. (1996) Female Lung Cancer. Annu Rev Public Health, 17: 97-114.

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