Lung cancer Key Facts
Key messages on incidence, survival, mortality, risk factors (causes) and a summary table of the statistics for lung cancer are given here. Also discussed is smoking.
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The latest statistics available for lung cancer are; incidence 2011, mortality 2011, and survival 2005-2009. Source years are specified in the statistics table. Find out why these are the latest statistics available.
- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in the UK after breast cancer.
- Around 43,500 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK in 2011, that’s around 120 people every day.
- Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in men after prostate cancer, with around 23,800 new cases diagnosed in the UK in 2011.
- Around 19,700 women were diagnosed with lung cancer in the UK in 2011, making it the second most common cancer in women after breast cancer.
- Almost 9 in 10 lung cancer cases occur in people aged 60 and over.
- Rates of lung cancer in Scotland are among the highest in the world, reflecting the history of high smoking prevalence there.
- In 1975, for every 10 lung cancer cases diagnosed in women in the UK, there were around 39 in men. Now for every 4-10 cases in women there are around 12 in men.
- Lung cancer incidence rates in men peaked in the late 1970s and since then have decreased by around 48%. This reflects the decline in smoking rates in men since around the end of the 1940s.
- From the mid-1970s to late 1980s, lung cancer rates in women increased by around 45%, since then they have increased by around 19%. This reflects the increase in smoking rates in women between World War II and the 1970s.
- In Europe, more than 410,000 new cases of lung cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is seventh lowest in Europe for males and seventh highest for females.
- Worldwide, nearly 1.83 million new cases of lung cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
Read more in-depth lung cancer incidence statistics.
section reviewed 29/05/14
section updated 29/05/14
- Lung cancer has one of the lowest survival outcomes of any cancer because over two-thirds of patients are diagnosed at a late stage when curative treatment is not possible.
- When diagnosed at its earliest stage, around 73% of patients with non small cell lung cancer and around 56% of patients with small cell lung cancer will survive their disease for at least one year after diagnosis.
- Around 30% of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive the disease for at least one year after diagnosis.
- Overall, less than 10% of people diagnosed with lung cancer survive the disease for at least five years after diagnosis.
Read more in-depth lung cancer survival statistics.
section reviewed 17/04/13
section updated 17/04/13
- Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for more than 1 in 5 cancer deaths.
- Around 35,200 people died from lung cancer in the UK in 2011, that’s 96 people every day.
- Almost half of people who die from lung cancer are aged 75 or over.
- Lung cancer mortality rates for men in the UK have more than halved since the 1970s. For females the mortality rate increased by 60% between the early 1970s and the late 1980s. Since then rates have increased more slowly. These variations reflect past smoking behaviour.
- In Europe, nearly 354,000 people were estimated to have died from lung cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 11th lowest in Europe for males and fifth highest for females.
- Worldwide around 1.59 million people were estimated to have died from lung cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
Read more in-depth lung cancer mortality statistics.
section reviewed 29/05/14
section updated 29/05/14
- The link between tobacco and cancer was established more than 50 years ago.
- Smoking causes more than 8 in 10 lung cancers in the UK.
- In Great Britain, around 1 in 5 adults smoke cigarettes, that’s about 10 million people.
- Less than 1% of 11 and 12 year olds in England are smokers, but this rises to 12% by age 15 despite the fact that it is illegal to sell any tobacco product to under 18s.
- Stopping smoking before middle age avoids most of the risk of smoking-related lung cancer.
- Living with someone who smokes, increases risk of lung cancer in non-smokers by about a quarter.
- It is estimated that exposure to passive smoke in the home causes around 11,000 deaths every year in the UK from lung cancer, stroke and ischaemic heart disease.
- Occupational exposures are linked to around 1 in 8 lung cancers in the UK, a large proportion of these due to asbestos.
- Diesel exhaust causes lung cancer, though this is likely to account for a fairly small proportion of cases and the evidence is mainly from studies of highly-exposed workers.
- Radon is a naturally occurring gas that increases risk of lung cancer, especially among smokers.
- Around 9% of lung cancers in the UK have been linked to poor diet.
Read more in-depth lung cancer risk factors.
section reviewed 22/02/13
section updated 13/06/12
|LUNG CANCER STATISTICS||Males||Females||Persons||Country||Year3|
|Number of new cases per year||23,770||19,693||43,463||UK||2011|
|Incidence rate per 100,000 population1||58.2||40.8||48.5|
|Number of deaths per year||19,596||15,558||35,184||UK||2011|
|Mortality rate per 100,000 population1||47.4||31.1||38.2|
|One-year survival rate2||29.4%||33.0%||31.0%||England||2005-2009|
|Five-year survival rate2||7.8%||9.3%||9.0%|
|Ten-year survival rate2||6.2%||8.1%||-||England & Wales||2009
1. European age-standardised 2. Adults diagnosed 3. Latest statistics available
section reviewed 20/03/14
section updated 20/03/14
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