Lung cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer death among men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancer combined. Apart from skin cancer, lung cancer is the most common cancer in both men and women. Take a look below for 25 more scary and important facts about lung cancer.
1. Lung cancer accounts for about 14% of all new cancers.
2. There are nearly 400,000 people in the United States living with lung cancer right now.
3. 81% of people who are living with lung cancer are over the age of 60. The disease tends to latch on the the elderly the most often and the most severely.
4. The survival rate of lung cancer is 17%, which is drastically lower than breast cancer, which is 90%, and prostate cancer, which is nearly 100%.
5. Only 15% of lung cancer cases are caught at an early stage. When it starts to spread into other organs, the survival rate drop to 3.5%.
6. More than half of people who are diagnosed with lung cancer pass away within a year of diagnosis.
7. Smoking is responsible for about 90% of all cases of lung cancer.
8. Exposure to asbestos is also one of the leading causes of lung cancer. The combination of asbestos exposure and smoking will seriously increase an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer.
9. African Americans are the most prone to developing lung cancer out of all ethnic and racial groups.
10. Though black woman smoke fewer cigarettes than white women, their rate of lung cancer is roughly equal.
11. Lung cancer accounts for 27% of all cancer deaths and 13% of all new cancers.
12. Black men are about 20% more likely to develop lung cancer than white men. This rate is about 10% lower in black women than in white women.
13. The lung cancer rate has been dropping among men over the past 20 years, but has only recently begun dropping in women.
14. Lifetime lung cancer risk for men is 1 in 13 and for women it’s 1 in 16. These numbers include both smokers and nonsmokers.
15. A diagnosis of respiratory disease such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or pneumonia can increase the risk of developing lung cancer.
16. Low dose CT scans are the only proven method of catching lung cancer; chest x-rays are not effective.
17. Lung cancer is very treatable and even curable if it’s caught very early on.
18. People who are between the ages of 55 and 80, who have smoked a pack of cigarettes a day for 30 years, or are currently smoking, should be getting screened as often as possible.
19. According to the Lung Cancer Alliance, about 60% of newly diagnosed lung cancer patients either quit smoking many years ago or never smoked.
20. About 15% of lung cancer patients in the United States have never smoked.
21. Lung cancer accounts for about 23,000 deaths annually in nonsmokers in the United States. If categorized as a separate disease, it would be the 6th leading cause of cancer death, following lung cancer in smokers, colon cancer, breast cancer, pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer.
22. According to the Lung Cancer Project, 3 out of 4 people have a negative bias toward people with lung cancer.
23. About 68% of advanced cancer patients who never receive cancer care have lung cancer.
24. The Lung Cancer Project found that 67% of people polled associate lung cancer with shame, 74% associate it with stigma and 75% associate it with hopelessness.
25. One of the main reasons that lung cancer is so difficult to treat is because it’s often diagnosed after it’s spread. The National Lung Screening Trial found that low dose CT scans for those who are at high risk for lung cancer can reduce the number of lung cancer deaths by about 20%.