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10 Lung Cancer Facts for World Cancer Day

10 Lung Cancer Facts for World Cancer Day

What is World Cancer Day?

World Cancer Day takes place every year on February 4th. This day unites the world’s population in the fight against cancer. It aims to save millions of preventable deaths each year by raising awareness and education about the disease, pressing governments and individuals across the world to take action.1

10 Facts Everyone Should Know About Lung Cancer

In honor of World Cancer Day, we’ve compiled a list of 10 important facts about lung cancer. Please feel free to like, share, retweet, and/or comment on any or all of these topics!

  1. Lung cancer is the number one cause of cancer-related death in the United States. More people die from lung cancer each year than from colon cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer combined.2
  2. But, lung cancer-related deaths are on the decline! Lung cancer death rates have been falling on average 2.2% each year, and the 5-year survival rate has increased.3
  3. Despite the overwhelming statistics, lung cancer research only receives 6% of the federal government’s money spent on cancer research. In 2015, $349 million was spent on lung cancer research, as compared to $674 million on breast cancer research.4
  4. New treatment options, such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy, are changing the way lung cancer is treated. Researchers have made great strides in developing new, promising treatments. These are occasionally used with other common treatments, such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy, or on their own.
  5. Common symptoms can include a persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and unintentional weight loss. Research shows that an estimated 90% of people were experiencing symptoms at the time of their diagnosis.5
  6. Research has also identified several genetic mutations related to lung cancer. These mutations play a large role in how lung cancer develops and progresses, but allow doctors to create a more personalized treatment plan.6
  7. Smokers and former smokers are not the only people affected. Each year, thousands of non-smokers are diagnosed with lung cancer. While smoking is the greatest risk factor for developing lung cancer, it is important to recognize that ANYONE can get lung cancer!
  8. Lung cancer screening can help to diagnose people before they may notice symptoms. Screening is recommended for high risk groups of people. If you think you may be at risk, talk to your doctor about screening.7
  9. Screening can save lives! The earlier lung cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of survival. For early stage, localized lung cancer, the five-year survival rate is 55.2%, as compared to the overall five-year survival rate of 17.7%.3
  10. Clinical trials can provide excellent care and may be a great option for people with lung cancer. These trials can allow patients access to the most current cancer treatments, all while helping to further research and help future patients.

There’s so much more to understand about lung cancer beyond what we have in our list. We hope you will continue to be a part of our community, share stories, and spread awareness about lung cancer!

  1. About World Cancer Day. Retrieved January 21, 2017, from
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed online on 8/1/16 at
  3. SEER Cancer Statistics Factsheets: Lung and Bronchus Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD. Accessed online on 8/1/16 at
  4. Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). National Institutes of Health website. Table Published: February 10, 2016
  5. Beckles MA, Spiro SG, Colice GL, Rudd RM. Initial evaluation of the patient with lung cancer. Chest 2003;123:97S-104S.
  6. National Cancer Institute. Accessed online on 8/1/16 at
  7. NCCN Guidelines for Patients. Lung Cancer Screening. Version Accessed online on 8/31/16 at