Lung cancer is the top cause of cancer-related death in both men and women in the United States, surpassing breast cancer in 1987, notes the American Lung Association. The total number of deaths from lung cancer surpasses all deaths from prostate, breast and colorectal cancers combined by tens of thousands. Around 158,000 Americans are estimated to die from lung cancer in 2015, representing approximately 27 percent of all U.S. cancer deaths.
Lung cancer deaths are on the rise, with a 3.5 increase in the number of deaths from lung cancer reported from 1999 through 2012, notes the American Lung Association. Although deaths in men are nearly equal to their former numbers, more women are diagnosed with lung cancer than before.
More men than women die from lung cancer, and more African-Americans die from the disease than their white counterparts, notes the American Lung Association. Around 221,200 new lung cancer cases will be diagnosed in 2015. Around 82 percent of people living with lung cancer are 60 years of age or older.
Worldwide, around 1.8 million new cases of lung cancer were reported in 2011. An estimate 1.6 million people around the globe died from lung cancer in 2012. The 5-year survival rate for all lung cancers is just 17.8 percent; by contrast, the overall 5-year survival rate of prostate cancer is 99.6 percent. More than 50 percent of all people with lung cancer die during a year of their diagnoses.