June 15, 2021

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Tips for reducing the risk of lung cancer

by dr. Jennifer Worth, for the bulletin

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, a good time to review information on this disease, as not all risk factors for developing lung cancer are understood.

First some basic information:

  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (excluding skin cancer). Prostate cancer is more common in men, while breast cancer is more common in women.
  • The American Cancer Society estimates for lung cancer in the United States for 2020 are approximately 228,820 new cases of lung cancer (116,300 in men and 112,520 in women) and approximately 135,720 deaths from lung cancer (72,500 in men and 63,220 in women).
  • Lung cancer occurs mainly in older people. Most people with lung cancer are 65 or older; a very limited number of people diagnosed are under the age of 45. The average age of people at diagnosis is around 70.
  • Lung cancer is by far the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, accounting for nearly 25% of all cancer deaths. More people die each year from lung cancer than from colon, breast and prostate cancer combined.