Symptoms of Lung Cancer in Young Women

Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death in both women and men. While it is more common in adults and older adults, nowadays it is also quite common in young adults. It has several types and sub-types. And lung cancer in young women is usually adenocarcinoma. What are the symptoms? Here are some helpful checklists for your guidance.

Topic overview

Lung cancer in women is common. Even it is the most common cancer in women after cancer of breast.

Interestingly, the number of men with lung cancer declines. On the other hand, the number of women with it is going up.

image_illustration393Cigarette smoking is the most common risk factor of the disease. Even most cases of lung cancer are linked to smoking.

The number of smokers is still dominated by men. But this starts declining a few decades ago. The same thing doesn’t happen for women. The number of women who actively smoke is likely to increase in recent years.

Lungs of women are more vulnerable

Some parts of men’s body are naturally designed stronger than women’s body, including for lungs. There are some evidences found that women’s lungs are more prone to developing cancer than men.

For instance, when the lungs of both men and women are exposed to the same amount of tobacco smoke, women’s lungs are likely to having lung cancer.

Even female smokers are twice likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer than as male smokers. Interestingly, female patients are likely to live longer than male patients.

The reason of this finding remains puzzling. But experts believe that genetic may play a role. There may be a particular gene that speeds up the growth of cancer in female lungs. Another theory, estrogen in women may also contribute.

The good news, women’s lungs are not always weaker than what men have. Once a female smoker can stop quitting, her lungs are likely to recover faster.

Female smokers are more difficult to stop smoking

Nicotine in tobacco smoke is the reason of why smoking can cause addiction. Smokers often find difficulty to quit smoking. And if you are a woman, this can be harder for quitting!

Many times, female smokers are more difficult to give up smoking than male smokers. Though the use of gum or other nicotine replacement products often works for female smokers, but they also have a greater rate of relapse.

Physically, female smokers are less likely to be dependent on nicotine than male smokers. But behaviorally, they don’t!  Many of them are more behaviorally addicted, that’s why they often find it harder to stop smoking.

Since estrogen may also have a role in causing addiction to nicotine, female smokers are easier to avoid smoking in the second half in their menstrual cycle (when progesterone is high, and estrogen is lower). The greater amount of progesterone may help control withdrawal symptoms by moving nicotine out of the body’s system more quickly.

Cigarette smoking is not the only one

Again, smoking is the greatest risk factor, but it’s not the only one. In fact, it’s also quite common to find lung cancer in women who never smoked! See also other risk factors of this cancer in this post!

What are the symptoms of lung cancer in young women?

In general, the disease is more common in individuals aged over 40. But anyone can have it, including young women.

Causes

Known factors that contribute to trigger and cause lung cancer include smoking, radon gas, some other toxic chemicals in the environment, and so on. But these risk factors need to take many years to influence your cancer risk. That’s why in young adults, these risk factors are less likely to play a large role in causing cancer.

So, how do young adults get lung cancer? The answer is not fully known. But it’s thought that a genetic susceptibility has a role, especially if combined with other risk factors (especially smoking)!

The weakened immune system is another possible answer. For instance, young women and men with HIV (a viral infectious condition that can weaken the body immune system) are also at high risk of developing some cancers.

Symptoms

Adenocarcinoma is the most common kind of lung cancer found in women – it can affect both smokers and non-smokers. It is sub-type of non-small lung cancer, which is also the most common type of lung cancer.

There is no a specific symptom of the disease in young women. The signs and symptoms are similar to what happen in other cases of lung cancer.

Adenocarcinoma is likely to grow and develop in the outer regions of the lungs. It’s likely to cause the following symptoms: