A woman with highlighted lungs standing out from a crowd of women

Experiencing Lung Cancer as a Young Woman

When I talk about anything lung cancer-related, I say “in the lung cancer world” or “in the lung cancer community”. It is one of those things that you cannot understand until you are facing the diagnosis head-on.

The uphill battle we face

We visit the oncologist and have many appointments. We decide if they are a good fit and if not seek out better care. We look for the very best treatments and the beginning may not understand that we are looking for the holy grail of treatments but then figure it out as time goes on.

I did not understand that the goal was to be on one treatment for as long as possible. I eventually learned the term "no evidence of disease" and that was my new goal.

What does the research say?

Lung cancer is on the rise in young, never-smoking women according to a new study published in the International Journal of Cancer. Women who are in the 30-49 age range are developing lung cancer at a faster rate than men of the same age bracket. I was diagnosed when I was 30 years old with stage 3b non small cell adenocarcinoma lung cancer.1

I will talk to anyone about lung cancer. I often tell people that I will talk with anyone who will listen or scream it from the rooftops. This is very much against my personality because I am the shy type. My goal is to educate as many people as I can that all you need are lungs to get lung cancer. It is also one of the reasons why I chose to write blogs for LungCancer.net, type for my personal blog, and other forms of advocacy. I headed the Breathe Deep Kankakee event for the two years prior to the pandemic and I am a phone buddy for both the Lungevity Foundation and the Go2 foundation.

Young women deserve answers and support

Young women need our help to figure out why many more are getting lung cancer. This is affecting our mothers and future mothers. Lung cancer is taking our chance to be mothers away from us. In a different way, it is also stealing parents away from their babies.

The study published in the International Journal of Cancer looked at young women vs. young men in 40 different countries and 5 continents over a span of five years. The data showed that lung cancer cases were decreasing in young men but rising in young women. Smoking data were looked at for these subjects and there was no significant difference between the habits of young men vs young women, even though smoking isn’t the only factor in a lung cancer diagnosis.1

Educating yourself

If you are a young adult (under 40) with a lung cancer diagnosis I urge you to look into the Go2 foundation's epidemiology study. This study is to help figure out why we are getting diagnosed at such young ages. More information can be found at Go2 Foundation.

In conclusion, the data is showing that lung cancer incidences are on the rise in young women. How can we find out why this is?

Want to discuss more?

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our privacy policy. We never sell or share your email address.

More on this topic

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The LungCancer.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

or create an account to comment.