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Article updated: 1/28/2013 3:51 PM

Women catch up to men on lung cancer risks

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A woman smokes a cigarette during a break from work in downtown Chicago. New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine finds that women who smoke today have a much greater risk of dying from lung cancer than they did decades ago compared to those who never smoked.

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U.S. women who smoke today have a much greater risk of dying from lung cancer than they did decades ago, partly because they are starting younger and smoking more -- that is, they are lighting up like men, new research shows. Lung cancer risk leveled off in the 1980s for men but is still rising for women. "It's a massive failure in prevention," said one study leader, Dr. Michael Thun of the American Cancer Society.
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