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About Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. Lung cancer accounts for approximately 29% of all cancer deaths.

Lung cancer impacts 1 in 14 Americans and is the number one cancer killer – more than breast, colorectal, and prostate, ovarian, non-hodgkin's lymphoma, and melanoma cancers combined.

  • More than 1.5 times as many women die from lung cancer as from breast cancer.
  • 60 percent of Americans diagnosed with lung cancer either never smoked a cigarette in their lives or had quit smoking.
  • Less than 15 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive 5 years post-diagnosis because of limited early detection opportunities.
  • There is no widely available, effective early diagnostic test available today.

More than 7% of American men and women wil be diagnosed with lung cancer in the course of their lifetime.

Lung cancer kills more than 3 times as many men each year than prostate cancer.
Lung cancer kills more women each year than breast, ovarian, uterine, and cervical cancers combined.

Lung cancer kills 84% of newly diagnosed patients within five years.

The survival rate is 49% for cases detected when the disease is localized to the lung, but only 16% of lung cancers are diagnosed that early.

In 2006 , an estimated 174,470 people were diagnosed with lung cancer, and an estimated 162,460 people will die of lung cancer. An estimated 92,700 of these deaths will be men and an estimated 81,770 will be women.

In 2007, approximately $1,633 will be spent on research per lung cancer death, compared with:

  • $13,471 per breast cancer death
  • $11,298 per prostate cancer death
  • $4,774 per colorectal cancer death

Approximately 50% of the people diagnosed with lung cancer have never smoked or are former smokers.

Sources

Cancer Facts & Figures 2007, American Cancer Society, Inc., p.4, pp.13-16
Fact Book (2007) , National Cancer Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/NCI/research-funding

Kurie JM, Spitz MR, Hong WK: Lung cancer chemoprevention: Targeting former rather than current smokers. Cancer Prevent Intl 2:55-64, 1995.

Pass, Harvey I. et al. Lung Cancer Principles and Practice, 2nd edition. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, 2000.

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