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Who gets lung cancer?

Most people diagnosed with lung cancer have a history of smoking but 10-15% of diagnoses are in never-smokers. This page provides links to statistics about lung cancer and highlights particular at-risk populations.

2012 lung cancer statistics

In general, current and former smokers are generally at highest risk for developing lung cancer and the median age at diagnosis is around 70. An individual's particular risk is often a complex combination of behavioral, environmental and biological factors.

2012 Lung Cancer Facts (Lung Cancer Alliance)

SEER Stat Fact Sheets: Lung and Bronchus (National Cancer Institute)

Cancer Facts and Figures 2012 -- all cancers, lung cancer statistice begin on page 16 (American Cancer Society)

Women

Women often don't recognize their risk for lung cancer, and women who have never smoked seem to be at higher risk for lung cancer than men who have never smoked.

Out of the Shadows: Women and Lung Cancer (Brigham & Womens/Harvard Medical School)

Women and Lung Cancer (ASCO's Cancer.Net

Women and Lung Cancer Factsheet (Lung Cancer Alliance)

Veterans

Veterans are at increased risk for lung cancer due to higher smoking rates but also because of exposure to environmental carcinogens, including Agent Orange, asbestos and battlefield conbustibles.

Veterans and Lung Cancer Factsheet (Lung Cancer Alliance)

Respiratory Cancers and Agent Orange (United States Department of Veterans Affairs)

Veterans and Cancer (ASCO's Cancer.Net)

African American men

African American men are diagnosed with lung cancer at a higher rate that is not related to smoking history.

Lung Cancer and African American Men Factsheet (Lung Cancer Alliance)

Too Many Cases, Too Many Deaths: Lung cancer in African Americans (American Lung Association)

Cancer Facts: African Americans and Cancer (Intercultural Cancer Council)

Never smokers

People who have never smoked get lung cancer, too. In fact, lung cancer in never smokers is the 6th leading cause of cancer deaths in the US.

Lung Cancer Also Affects Nonsmokers (American Cancer Society)

Wakelee et al. 2007. Lung Cancer Incidence in Never Smokers. J Clin Oncol 25(5):472-8

Rudin et al. Lung Cancer in Never Smokers: A call to action. Clin Cancer Res 15:5622-5.

 

See also:

Symptoms