Lung cancer is the most common cause of death due to cancer in both men and women throughout the world. The American Cancer Society estimated that 222,520 new cases of lung cancer in the U.S. will be diagnosed and 157,300 deaths due to lung cancer would occur in 2010. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute, approximately one out of every 14 men and women in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer of the lung at some point in their lifetime.
Lung cancer is predominantly a disease of the elderly; almost 70% of people diagnosed with lung cancer are over 65 years of age, while less than 3% of lung cancers occur in people under 45 years of age.
Lung cancer was not common prior to the 1930s but increased dramatically over the following decades as tobacco smoking increased. In many developing countries, the incidence of lung cancer is beginning to fall following public education about the dangers of cigarette smoking and the introduction of effective smoking-cessation programs. Nevertheless, lung cancer remains among the most common types of cancers in both men and women worldwide. In the U.S., lung cancer has surpassed breast cancer as the most common cause of cancer-related deaths in women.
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