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Revista Portuguesa de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 0873-2159


SOTTO-MAYOR, Renato. Lung cancer in women: A different entity?. Rev Port Pneumol [online]. 2006, vol.12, n.5, pp.545-561. ISSN 0873-2159.

Lung cancer is becoming a real epidemic in developed countries and one of the main causes of cancer death in women. Although it is controversial to state, it is probable that women are more susceptible to lung cancer than men. Molecular and genetic epidemiology studies are underway to prove this statement. Several biological factors, such as family history, histopathology, response to treatment and the prognosis for lung cancer in women have a bearing on the case. While these are not completely clear or consensual, there is a need for wide-ranging prospective studies which compare the differences between males and females. Until now, there has only been one area in which gender could impact on the therapeutic management of lung cancer: the role of gefitinib and erlotinib in inhibiting the epidermal growth factor receptors, since these products are clearly of more benefit to female non-smokers. Given that women have a better lung cancer prognosis, it is recommended that future research protocols include stratification on gender. Prevention of lung cancer in both women and men is a priority public health concern. A mandatory aim of this is the fight against smoking, the largest aetiological factor of lung cancer.

Keywords : Lung cancer; epidemiology; molecular biology; women.

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