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Lung Cancer Prevention (PDQ®): Prevention - Health Professional Information [NCI] - Description of the Evidence

Background

Incidence and mortality

Recommended Related to Smoking Cessation

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Lung cancer has a tremendous impact on the health of the American public, with an estimated 228,190 new cases and 159,480 deaths predicted in 2013 in men and women combined.[1] Lung cancer causes more deaths per year in the United States than the next four leading causes of cancer death combined. Lung cancer incidence and mortality rates increased markedly throughout most of the last century, first in men and then in women. The trends in lung cancer incidence and mortality rates have closely mirrored historical patterns of smoking prevalence, after accounting for an appropriate latency period. Because of historical differences in smoking prevalence between men and women, lung cancer rates in men have been consistently declining since 1990. The incidence rate in men declined from a high of 102.1 cases per 100,000 men in 1984 to 82.7 cases per 100,000 men in 2009. Consistent declines in women have not been seen.[1,2] In the United States, it is estimated that lung cancer will account for about 14% of new cancer cases and about 27% of all cancer deaths in 2013. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women. In 2013, it is estimated that 72,220 deaths will occur among U.S. women due to lung cancer, compared with 39,620 deaths due to breast cancer.[1]

Lung cancer incidence and mortality is highest in African Americans compared with any other racial/ethnic group in the United States, primarily due to the very high rates in African American men. In 2007, the incidence rate in black men was 33% higher than in white men (101.2 vs. 76.3 cases per 100,000 men, respectively), whereas among women no racial difference in incidence rates was present (54.8 vs. 54.7 cases per 100,000 women, respectively). Similarly, the mortality rates among black men were 28% higher than among white men for the same year (87.5 vs. 68.3 deaths per 100,000 men, respectively), whereas the mortality rates among black women were 5% lower than among white women (39.6 vs. 41.6 deaths per 100,000 women, respectively). [3]

Surgical treatment or radiation therapy is the treatment of choice for early stages of cancer. Unfortunately, initial success with these modalities is overshadowed by the potential for long-term development of second primary tumors.[4] The overall 5-year relative survival rate from lung cancer was 16% in 2006. Lung cancer survival is worse for men compared with women and blacks compared with whites. For example, 5-year lung cancer survival was 18% lower in black men compared with white men (11.3% vs. 13.8%, respectively) and 23% lower in black women compared with white women (14.4% vs. 18.6%, respectively).[3]

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WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: February 25, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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