Lung cancer incidence and mortality are slightly higher in males, but the rate in females is expected to match that of males in future years owing to changes in smoking patterns. Typically, women with lung cancer are diagnosed at an earlier age, which has raised the question that there may be inherent genetic differences between males and females in susceptibility to lung cancer. Furthermore, there are differences in the prevalence of histological subtypes of tumors. Interestingly, historical studies have shown improved prognosis and survival times for women diagnosed with lung can-

cer. Race

While no significant difference is noted in incidence or mortality between black and white females, black males have a markedly higher incidence and mortality rate than white males. Proposed contributions to this gap include differences in smoking habits, such as increased menthol cigarette use. Black Americans also have a significantly lower 5-year survival rate than white Americans regardless of gender. They present with more advanced disease and are less likely to be treated, which suggests that genetic, psychosocial, and socioeconomic components contribute to this disparity. Although it remains a significant health care issue, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans have lower rates of lung cancer than both Caucasians and African Americ-

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