Fast Facts: Lung Cancer 

Cancer occurs when malignant cells begin to reproduce and crowd out normal cells1 . According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, equating to about 1 in 6 deaths2. Lung cancer begins in the lungs but can spread to other areas of the body.

Certain risk factors may put you at a higher risk for lung cancer, but noticing your symptoms and following up with a doctor can help your treatment team diagnose you quicker. According to both the American Cancer Society and Cancer Research UK, the earlier cancer is diagnosed, the more likely treatment is to be effective

Certain risk factors may include:


    • Smoking is the leading risk factor for lung cancer3. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reports that smoking causes about 9 in 10 cases of lung cancer in men and 8 in 10 in women5. Secondhand smoke also increases your risk for lung cancer, due to the inhalation of chemicals and carcinogens3.

 Industrial or Workplace Contaminates

    • Inhaling chemicals, minerals, or other contaminants may increase your risk for cancers6. Common exposure includes asbestos, radon, arsenic, nickel, tar, and soot3. As a result, individuals who have worked in manufacturing, construction, firefighting, or other similar professions may be at higher risk for exposure.


The Good News

The WHO notes that “30–50% of cancers can currently be prevented by avoiding risk factors and implementing existing evidence-based prevention strategies."2 Additionally, early detection and management of cancer may increase the efficacy of treatment7