deaths among European women are set to overtake those from breast cancer for the first time this year.
The trend is largely driven by women in the UK, say researchers. Predicted lung cancer deaths for women in are set to rise by 9% between 2009 and 2015, reaching 14.24 per 100,000 of population.
In contrast, death rates from breast cancer are due to fall by 10.2%.
The bleakest lung cancer forecasts were for the UK and , with 2015 mortality rates of 21 and 17 per 100,000 of population respectively.
Lead researcher Professor Carlo La Vecchia, from the University of Milan, said: “UK and Polish women … have long had much higher lung cancer rates than most other European countries.
“This is due to the fact that British women started smoking during the second world war, while in most other EU countries women started after 1968.”
Dr Penny Woods, chief executive of the British Lung Foundation, said: “This latest forecast demonstrates once again just how poorly the UK measures up to the rest of Europe in this arena. Lung cancer rates in UK women far exceed those of their EU neighbours – and should be a cause of national embarrassment.
“More than four in five cases of lung cancer are caused by smoking. It is essential that women - and men - quit smoking to lessen their chances of developing this condition, or better yet never start at all.
“If we are to reduce the death toll of this devastating cancer we must see it given the same level of investment in research as we have seen afforded to other cancers, such as breast cancer.
“It is also essential we see greater awareness of signs and symptoms, such as a persistent cough, to improve early diagnosis.”