Lung Cancer

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Quick GuideLung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment

Lung Cancer Symptoms, Stages, Treatment

How common is lung cancer?

Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. Statistics from the American Cancer Society estimated that in 2016 about 224,000 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S. occurred and over 158,000 deaths were due to the disease. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately 6.5% of men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime based on data from 2011-13.

Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age. The median age at diagnosis is 70 years.

Lung cancer was not common prior to the 1930s but increased dramatically over the following decades as tobacco smoking increased. In many developing countries, the incidence of lung cancer is beginning to fall following public education about the dangers of cigarette smoking and the introduction of effective smoking-cessation programs. Nevertheless, lung cancer remains among the most common types of cancers in both men and women worldwide. In the U.S., lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women.

Reviewed on 12/2/2016
References
REFERENCES:

American Cancer Society. "Lung Cancer." <http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer/>.

American Lung Association. "Lung Cancer Fact Sheet." Nov. 3, 2016. <http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/lung-cancer/learn-about-lung-cancer/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html>.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "Lung Cancer." Oct. 25, 2016. <http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/lung/>.

United States. National Cancer Institute. "Lung Cancer." <http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/lung>.

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