ATOMIC: The Academic Thoracic Oncology Medical Investigators Consortium


Lung Cancer Facts

Lung Cancer Facts & Figures

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the United States. In 1987, it surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in women. Lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and pancreatic). An estimated 159,260 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2014, accounting for approximately 27 percent of all cancer deaths.

Leading Causes of Cancer Death

The number of deaths due to lung cancer has increased approximately 4.3 percent between 1999 and 2010 from 152,156 to 158,318. The number of deaths among men has reached a plateau but the number is still rising among women. In 2010, there were 87,740 deaths due to lung cancer in men and 70,578 in women. The age-adjusted death rate for lung cancer is higher for men (60.3 per 100,000 persons) than for women (38.1 per 100,000 persons). It also is higher for Blacks (51.4 per 100,000 persons) compared to Whites (48.3 per 100,000 persons). Black men have a far higher age-adjusted lung cancer death rate than White men, while Black and White women have similar rates.

Statistics are courtesy of The American Lung Association at