Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Smoking is the number-one cause of lung cancer, but 20% of women who suffer from the disease have never smoked.
Estrogen may play a role in the development and progression of lung cancer. Further research is being done on this connection. There may be a higher risk of developing lung cancer if the ovaries are surgically removed before menopause. Hormone replacement therapy (estrogen and progesterone) after menopause may increase the risk of dying from lung cancer, but the use of estrogen therapy alone is associated with a lower risk of dying from lung cancer.
Curiously, use of birth control pills and hormone replacement therapy with the ovaries intact are associated with a lower risk of developing lung cancer. It seems that estrogen plays more than one role in the disease.
National President and CEO of the American Lung Association, Harold Wimmer, discusses what you should know about lung cancer in women.