LONDON, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Lung cancer rates among British women have risen by 73 percent over the last 40 years, while the figures in men have fallen by nearly half, cancer research authorities said.
According to the new figures released by the Cancer Research UK on Wednesday, although the rate for women has continued to increase, the figures show lung cancer rates in men have fallen by 47 percent over the same period, and by 20 percent for people overall.
Figures showed the lung cancer rate in women is now 41 per 100,000 up from 23 in 1975, while for men, it is now 59 per 100,000, down from 112 in 1975.
The latest figures said there was a total of around 43,500 lung cancer cases in the country in 2011, among which, 23,800 were men and 19,700 were women.
In Britain, there were around 35,200 deaths from lung cancer, which comprised 19,600 men and 15,600 women.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in Britain, but the biggest cancer killer. The fall in the men's cancer rate is the result of reducing the number of smokers, but advances in treatment have been limited and public awareness of the disease has been low despite the high death toll.
"These figures provide a stark reminder that lung cancer remains one of the biggest challenges in cancer research. This disease kills more than twice as many people as the second most common cancer killers - bowel cancer - and this looks set to continue unless we all do more," said Harpal Kumar, chief executive of Cancer Research UK.
It said around 87 percent of lung cancers are caused by tobacco.