About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer). In men, prostate cancer is more common, while in women breast cancer is more common. About 14% of all new cancers are lung cancers.

In 2018, the American Cancer Society estimates that 234,030 new cases of lung cancer (121,680 in men and 112,350 in women) are expected to be diagnosed and 154,050 deaths from lung cancer (83,550 in men and 70,500 in women) are expected to occur. Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Lung cancer mainly occurs in older people. Most people diagnosed with lung cancer are 65 or older, while a very small number of people diagnosed younger than 45. The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 70. The real tragedy is that many of these cancer cases and cancer deaths occur needlessly, as they could be prevented, or diagnosed at an earlier stage, if more people took advantage of lung cancer screening.


For more information about the burden of lung cancer, please access the following websites:

The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Cancer Facts and Figures is an annual publication of the most current cancer statistics for the U.S. and states.

The ACS’ Cancer Statistics Center website gives the user an opportunity to explore, interact with, and share cancer statistics.

The National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program provides information on cancer statistics.

NCI’s Interactive Tools, Maps, and Graphs.