Skip To The Main Content

Statistics About Lung Cancer

Some people use statistics to try to know their chance of getting cancer. Or they use them to know the chance they can be cured. But statistics show what happens to large groups of people. Because no two people are alike, statistics can’t be used to predict what will happen to a particular person.

These are some statistics about lung cancer from the American Cancer Society:

  • Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer. About 80 percent of lung cancer deaths result from smoking. Compared with nonsmokers, men who smoke are about 23 times more likely to develop lung cancer. Women who smoke are about 13 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers. The risk for lung cancer is no different in those who smoke light or low-tar products.

  • Each year, about 3,400 nonsmoking adults will die of lung cancer as a result of breathing secondhand smoke.

  • About 226,160 people will be told they have lung cancer in 2012.

  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer among both men and women.

  • The death rate for men who have lung cancer is going down. That’s been true since 1990. The death rate for women has recently started dropping, too.

  • More people die of lung cancer every year than from colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. There will be an estimated 160,340 deaths from lung cancer in 2012.

  • Lung cancer makes up about 14 percent of all cancer cases. It will cause about 28 percent of all deaths from cancer in 2012.

  • Only about 16 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer are still alive five years later.


MetroWest Medical Center provides advanced medicine and personalized care, right here in your community.

Click here to see our services 


The Center for Heart & Vascular Services. At the forefront of heart and vascular disease for more than 25 years.

Learn More