“For a long time breast cancer has been the type of cancer which has caused the most deaths among women. But now lung cancer has taken over,” said the Board’s Charlotte Björkenstam to the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper.
Between 1986 and 2006, the number of overall deaths caused by lung cancer increased by 70 percent. At the same time, the number of men who died from the disease decreased by 11 percent, which signifies a huge increase in the number of women for whom lung cancer tumors proved fatal.
Smoking is one of the most common causes of lung cancer.
“We’ve just been waiting for this. Women smoke more than men and even if they’ve to reduce their smoking in recent years, that won’t show up in the cancer statistics until 15 to 20 years later,” said lung specialsit Göran Boethius, lead of the organizations Doctors against Tobacco (Läkare mot tobak).
Skin cancer is also on the march.
The number of deaths caused by the disease has increased 20 percent among women and 40 percent among men in the last 20 years.
However, according to the Board of Health and Welfare’s report, which is drawn from death statistics from 2006, cardiovascular disease remains the most common cause of death for both genders.
But the death rate from the disease has dropped by half for women and by 59 percent for men.