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Women and cancers:everyone concerned and rightly so!

Women and cancers:everyone concerned and rightly so! There are areas where we would really like not to catch up with men! Even less exceed them. Cancer is one of them. According to the latest report from Public Health France, 1 in 6 women will have cancer in her lifetime. What if we took control?

The figures, first:382,000 new cases of cancer in 2018 in France, 204,600 in men and 177,400 in women. If the incidence, all cancers combined, remains stable in men (+0.1% per year), it climbs in women (+1.1% per year).


"This is explained by the evolution of women's lifestyles", analysis Dr Hanene Boudabous, oncologist at the Hartmann clinic. Wiser than men until the 1970s and 80s, they have since taken to drinking and smoking more. And the over-50 generation is paying dearly for it today.” While breast cancer remains the most common and deadliest (59,000 new cases each year, just over 12,000 deaths), the most marked increase – and the most worrying – concerns lung cancer, mainly connected to tobacco consumption:the number of cases increases by 5% each year among women. While the number of smokers is decreasing among men aged 18-24, it remains stable among young women of the same age according to Public Health France. One of the reasons ? For a lower quantity of cigarettes consumed, the latter will develop a level of nicotine dependence as high as that of their male counterparts.

However, there are some reasons to hope and rely on proven prevention campaigns. After 20 years of raising awareness about prevention and screening, the mortality of women affected by breast cancer is falling (-1.3% per year). For cancer of the cervix, this decline is greater than 2% per year, with a downside in women who are between 50 and 60 years old:more affected than other age groups because they are screened less.

The weight of bad habits and our environment

We can never repeat it enough:our lifestyle is involved in the appearance of many cancers:

20% of them are related to tobacco, 8% to alcohol, 5% to overweight, 3% to UV, and 2% to the papillomavirus. Other risk factors , the environment (pollution, endocrine disruptors, fine particles including diesel, etc.) responsible for 5 to 10% of cancers, the professional environment (night work, ionizing radiation, etc.), not forgetting the impact of the health crisis, which has resulted in postponements of appointments and delays in diagnosis.

Still some work to do!

To reverse the trend, we must redouble our efforts in terms of prevention and information. Figures from the latest AÉSIO Mutual and Harris Interactive survey 1, on Women's Health show that we can do better:only 59% of women believe they know the risk factors for breast cancer, while 66% know those related to lung cancer. And less than 1 in 2 women believe that they know the behaviors or environmental factors that can increase the risk of colorectal cancer. While most know that you need to eat 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day to reduce the risk, only 35% go from theory to practice. And on the sport side, 34% admit to not practicing more than one hour of physical and sporting activity per week! A good point however:if women drink more and more in proportion to men, they control their alcohol consumption with less than 5 drinks per week, half the recommended maximum threshold.

As we can see, some messages get through! Let's continue our efforts and take back control of our health! So precious.

1 AÉSIO mutual and Harris Interactive survey, Women's health. May 2021

Everyone has a role to play

To preserve your health, you have to listen to your body and not neglect health messages”, insists Dr Laure Panel, surgeon-gynecologist at the Mutual Clinic Beau Soleil - AÉSIO Santé 2 in Montpellier.If your general practitioner remains your preferred contact, you can also inquire with your gynecologist, a liberal midwife, family planning, a PMI center...”

2 AÉSIO Santé is a mutual network of healthcare establishments

Women and cancers:everyone concerned and rightly so!

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