Women and Lung Cancer Facts

Women and Lung Cancer Facts2018-10-18T19:00:23+00:00

2018 Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act

The Facts About Women and Lung Cancer

  • An average of 193 women die each day of lung cancer, one every 7 minutes.1
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women. It is also the leading cause of cancer death in men.1
  • In 2018, an estimated 70,500 women will die of lung cancer, 25% of all cancer deaths in women.1
  • Of the men and women with lung cancer, 17.9% are never-smokers.2
  • Lung cancer in male and female never-smokers is the sixth leading cause of all cancer deaths.2
  • Approximately two-thirds of never-smokers diagnosed with lung cancer are women.3,4
  • Of never-smokers, women are twice as likely as men to get lung cancer.5,6
  • Recent studies indicate that the rate of never-smoking lung cancer is increasing.4,7
  • The five-year survival rate for women with lung cancer remains low at 21%.8
  • Despite a higher number of annual deaths, lung cancer receives only $1,831 per death in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the least funded of the major cancers affecting women.1,9

Click here to download the full Women & Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.


  1. American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2018. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2018.
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cigarette smoking among adults–United States, 2006. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007;56(44):1157-1161.
  3. Clement-Duchene C, Stock S, Xu X, et al. Survival among Never-Smokers with Lung Cancer in the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Study. Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2016;13(1):58-66.
  4. Pelosof L, Ahn C, Gao A, et al. Proportion of Never-Smoker Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Patients at Three Diverse Institutions. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2017;109(7).
  5. Sun S, Schiller JH, Gazdar AF. Lung cancer in never smokers–a different disease. Nat Rev Cancer. 2007;7(10):778-790.
  6. Wakelee HA, Chang ET, Gomez SL, et al. Lung cancer incidence in never smokers. J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(5):472-478.
  7. Cufari ME, Proli C, De Sousa P, et al. Increasing frequency of non-smoking lung cancer: Presentation of patients with early disease to a tertiary institution in the UK. Eur J Cancer. 2017;84:55-59.
  8. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2014, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/ csr/1975_2014/, based on November 2016 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER website April 2017.
  9. National Institutes of Health (2017) Estimates of funding for various research, condition, and disease categories (RCDC). National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, https://report.nih.gov/categorical_spending.aspx, accessed January 26, 2018.