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Lung cancer to quadruple in women by 2040

The number of female lung cancer sufferers in the UK is set to rise 35 times faster than men within the next 30 years.

Women living with the disease will quadruple from around 26,000 in 2010 to around 95,000 in 2040 warned Macmillan Cancer Support.

This jump is compared to an estimated 8% increase in men - around 39,000 in 2010 to around 42,000 in 2040.

The predicted increase in lung cancer sufferers is “mainly” due to an aging population.

According to the Macmillan-funded research by King's College London, by 2040 fewer than half (47%) of women with lung cancer will be long-term survivors (alive at least five years from diagnosis) compared with three-fifths (59%) of men.

In 2010, lung cancer received just a quarter of the amount of research funding than that of breast cancer, despite killing more in the UK than any other cancer.

“Lung cancer is often overlooked among cancers but these figures should serve as a firm reminder that it is still very much a cancer killer,” said Ciarán Devane, chief executive of Macmillan Cancer Support.

“For most cancers in the UK we are looking at how we can cope with a population of long-term survivors with health complications. With lung cancer we are a long way from even being able to consider these issues.

“Lung cancer survival needs to improve. Prevention is important but so too is research into the disease and its treatment. It is nonsensical that research in this area receives such minimal funding compared with other cancers. This has to change.”