Drop in Lung Cancer Deaths Attributed to Decrease in Cigarette Smoking

Pharmacy Times, September 2014 Oncology, Volume 80, Issue 9

The death rate for lung cancer is declining at a faster pace than in previous years, according to a study published on August 11, 2014, by the National Cancer Institute.

In an analysis of nearly 500,000 lung cancer patients older than 35 years, it was found that the lung cancer rate had fallen by approximately 12%. While not drawing a direct correlation, the researchers postulated that the result is likely due to decreased prevalence in smoking over an extended time period now being reflected in the mortality rate.

The drop in the lung cancer death rate drove an overall decrease in deaths from all cancers combined over the 35-year time period.

The lung cancer death rate for men declined 1.9% per year from 1993 to 2005, and then dropped 2.9% per year between 2005 and 2010. The lung cancer death rate for women fell 1.4% each year from 2004 to 2010.

The death rate in women between 1995 and 2004, however, increased by 0.3% per year during that time period. The study noted that the lesser drop in lung cancer death rates in females was most likely attributable to a later decrease in cigarette smoking rates among women.