Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S. In 1987, it surpassed breast cancer to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in women.1
An estimated 158,080 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2016, accounting for approximately 27 percent of all cancer deaths.2
The number of deaths caused by lung cancer peaked at 159,292 in 2005 and has since decreased by 2.3 percent to 155,610 in 2014.1
The age-adjusted death rate for lung cancer is higher for men (51.7 per 100,000 persons) than for women (34.7 per 100,000 persons). It is similar for blacks (45.7 per 100,000 persons) and whites (45.4 per 100,000 persons) overall. However, black men have a far higher age-adjusted lung cancer death rate than white men, while black and white women have similar rates.1
Approximately 415,000 Americans living today have been diagnosed with lung cancer at some point in their lives.3
During 2016, an estimated 224,390 new cases of lung cancer were expected to be diagnosed, representing about 13 percent of all cancer diagnoses.2
The majority of living lung cancer patients have been diagnosed within the last five years. Lung cancer is mostly a disease of the elderly. In 2013, 83 percent of those living with lung cancer were 60 years of age or older.3
In 2013, Kentucky had the highest age-adjusted lung cancer incidence rates in both men (113.2 per 100,000) and women (78.3 per 100,000). Utah had the lowest age-adjusted cancer incidence rates in both men and women (30.0 per 100,000 and 22.9 per 100,000, respectively). 4 These state-specific rates were parallel to smoking prevalence rates.