How Serious is Lung Cancer?

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. for men and women. Annually, lung cancer accounts for 1.6 million deaths worldwide. It also has one of the lowest five-year survival rates of all cancer types. Quick stats on lung cancer in America:

  • There are 1.8 million new cases annually
  • More than half of individuals with lung cancer die within a year of being diagnosed
  • Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and prostate)

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How Common is Lung Cancer?

The overall chance that a man will develop lung cancer in his lifetime is about 1 in 14. For a woman, the risk is about 1 in 17. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers. For smokers the risk is much higher, while non-smokers have a lower risk.

Black men are about 20% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. Among women, the rate is about 10% lower in black women than in white women. And although both black and white women have lower rates than men, the gap is closing. The lung cancer rate has been dropping among men over the past few decades, but this has only happened for women for about the last decade.

Whether you know you have a predisposition or not, learning about the commonalities of lung cancer can help you throughout your life.

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