When you read about statistics, it is always important to remember that they are compiled from populations, or groups, of people. They do not represent individual experiences.

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers. In 2007, lung cancer will account for approximately 15% of all cancer diagnoses and 28% of all cancer deaths. It is the second most diagnosed cancer in men and women (after prostate and breast, respectively), but it is the number one cause of death from cancer each year in both men and women. Because lung cancer can take years to develop, it is mostly found in older people. The average age of a person receiving a lung cancer diagnosis is 71 years.

Overall, lung cancer affects men more than women, but that gap is closing. The American Cancer Society’s most recent lung cancer statistics in the United States for 2009 include an estimated 116,900 men and 103,350 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer and an estimated 88,900 men and 70,490 women will die from lung cancer.

Cigarette smoking is the cause of most lung cancers, but there are other factors, too. Exposure to asbestosradonenvironmental factors, or secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer. Sometimes, a person develops lung cancer and doctors do not know why. There are often internal factors (inherited or from our genes) as well as external or environmental factors (from outside of our bodies) involved in the development of any type of cancer.

Lung cancer is the subject of a great amount of research. Promising areas of research include the study of chemopreventive agents and research into targeted therapies, both of which show potential to halt the progression of the development of a cancer cell. However, lung cancer does not receive as much attention, both in funding and in public awareness, compared to other types of cancers that are not as common. Advocates for lung cancer research are working hard to raise awareness of this imbalance. Here are some organizations that work to support people with lung cancer by raising awareness of the disease and offering information and services to patients and families.

Source: http://www.lungcancer.org/reading/about.php

Samuel Sievert snow lung cancer