Lung cancer cases among women in Scotland have soared by 50% in the past 20 years, shock new figures show.
And in Glasgow, a third more women have been diagnosed with the disease in the past two decades.
Figures show the number of cases in the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde area have risen from 529 in 1988 to 686 in 2008.
A total of 2348 women across Scotland were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2008, compared with just 1569 in 1988.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world with 1.3 million new cases diagnosed every year. The vast majority of lung cancers are caused by smoking.
The disease is often diagnosed at a late stage, the main reason it has one of the lowest survival rates of any cancer.
Classical singer Katherine Jenkins issued a plea to Scots women to take care of their lungs, to support Lung Cancer Awareness month in November.
Katherine, whose father died of lung cancer, is an ambassador for the charity Macmillan Cancer Support.
She said: “I’m passionate about helping Macmillan Cancer Support encourage people to be more aware of the causes, signs and symptoms of lung cancer.”
Symptoms include a persistent cough, breathlessness, unexplained weight loss and chest pain. A hoarse voice, loss of appetite and difficulty swallowing can also be tell-tale signs.
Liz Vasey, a Macmillan lung surgery nurse at the Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank, said: “Lung cancer has always been more common in men, particularly those over 40, as more men used to smoke than women.
“However, as more women have started smoking, the number of women developing lung cancer has risen considerably.
“It is vital that if anyone has any of the symptoms of lung cancer, they get them checked out.
“These symptoms may not be serious, in which case, you’ve got nothing to lose by visiting your GP. If they are serious, diagnosis at an early stage could save your life.”