Lung Cancer is the leading cancer killer in men AND women. Learn more about our efforts to spread the awareness about Lung Cancer.
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Lung Cancer Facts and Statistics
Prevalence and Incidence
Approximately 541,000 Americans living today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in their lives.
During 2018, an estimated 234,030 new cases of lung cancer were expected to be diagnosed, representing about 13 percent of all cancer diagnoses.
The majority of living lung cancer patients have been diagnosed within the last five years. Lung cancer is mostly a disease of the elderly. In 2015, 86 percent of those living with lung cancer were 60 years of age or older.
In 2015, Kentucky had the highest age-adjusted lung cancer incidence rates in both men (105.6 per 100,000) and women (77.5 per 100,000). Utah had the lowest age-adjusted cancer incidence rates in both men and women (29.6 per 100,000 and 22.1 per 100,000, respectively).4 These state-specific rates were parallel to smoking prevalence rates.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 2.1 million new cases and 1.8 million deaths in 2018.
The National Institutes of Health estimate that cancer care cost the U.S. an overall $147.5 billion in 2015, $13.4 billion of which is due to lung cancer. Lost productivity due to early death from cancer lead to an additional $134.8 billion in 2005, $36.1 billion of which was caused by lung cancer.
Smoking-Attributable Lung Cancer
Smoking, a main cause of small cell and non-small cell lung cancer, contributes to 80 percent and 90 percent of lung cancer deaths in women and men, respectively. Men who smoke are 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women are 13 times more likely, compared to never smokers.
Between 2005 and 2010, an average of 130,659 Americans (74,300 men and 56,359 women) died of smoking-attributable lung cancer each year. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 lung cancer deaths among nonsmokers every year.
Nonsmokers have a 20 to 30 percent greater chance of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work.