Americans Unaware of Women’s Top Cancer Killer

Americans Unaware of Women’s Top Cancer Killer

Press Release
Oct 30, 2018


WASHINGTON, DC —  Do you know the number one cancer killer of women? In the recent “Know Cancer Survey,” 94 percent of 2,026 respondents answered that question incorrectly.  

Results of the national survey will be released during the Lung Cancer Awareness Month Kickoff & Panel Discussions at Noon, Thursday, November 1, 2018, in the Holeman Lounge, National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, DC. Two panels of renowned lung cancer experts, advocates and survivors will discuss recent breakthroughs in lung cancer screening and the progress and hope gained through scientific breakthroughs, research funding and advocacy activities. The survey highlights Americans’ lack of awareness about lung cancer, the number one cancer killer of both men and women.

“We surveyed 2,000 adults to gauge their knowledge about lung cancer,” says Dusty Donaldson, of the Lung Cancer Action Network. “We expected to see a lack of public awareness about lung cancer; however, the level of public ignorance about this disease is simply stunning.” 

Lung cancer kills nearly twice as many women as breast cancer and nearly three times as many men as prostate cancer. In fact, lung cancer claims more lives than the next three cancers combined (colon, breast and pancreatic). For too long, those with lung cancer have not been aware of screening and have been shunned by the stigma of lung cancer.

At the kickoff event, panelists will cover scientific progress in lung cancer, legislative initiatives, changing the face of lung cancer, changing hearts and minds about lung cancer, radon legislation, research advances and hope for lung cancer patients. Moderated by Donaldson, panelists include the following:

  • Paul Billings, American Lung Association
  • Andrew Ciupek, PhD., Lung Cancer Alliance
  • Chris Draft, Chris Draft Family Foundation
  • Hildy Grossman, PhD., Upstage Lung Cancer
  • Kyle Hoylman, Cancer Survivors Against Radon
  • Lauren Humphries, LUNGevity
  • Montessa Lee, Educator and Author
  • Kimberly Lester, Lung Cancer Action Network
  • Gloria Linnertz, Citizens for Radioactive Radon Reduction
  • Kristin Richeimer, International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer
  • Robert Smith, PhD., American Cancer Society, National Lung Cancer Roundtable
  • Jamie Studts, PhD., University of Kentucky College of Medicine

Together, research and advocacy are helping to advance early detection, increase survivorship and improve patients’ quality of life. Treatment breakthroughs are giving meaningful hope to hundreds of thousands of people facing this disease.

In addition to launching Lung Cancer Awareness Month, the purpose of the press conference is to inform the public that anyone can get lung cancer, share recent promising scientific advancements, underscore hope and diminish the stigma of lung cancer. For more information about the collaborative Lung Cancer Awareness Month campaign, visit

Lung cancer patients, survivors and advocates also will share their personal stories. Nonprofit advocacy organizations will highlight advocacy and research activities, underscoring the significance of this extraordinary collaborative campaign.

Lung Cancer Facts[1]

  • Lung cancer is the leading cancer killer in both men and women in the U.S.
  • Approximately 154,000 Americans are expected to die from lung cancer in 2018.
  • Every day, 422 Americans die from lung cancer.
  • 27 people are diagnosed with lung cancer each hour.
  • Over the past 39 years, the rate of new lung cancer cases has fallen 32 percent among men while increasing 94 percent among women.
  • Radon causes about 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year, making it the second leading cause of lung cancer death.[2]
  • Lung cancer has the lowest 5-year survival rate of the other most common cancers: only 18 percent, compared to prostate at 99 percent, breast at 90 percent and colorectal at 65 percent.
    • When detected early, the five-year survival rate for lung cancer is 55 percent.
    • Early detection, by low dose CT screening, can decrease lung cancer mortality between 14-61 percent in high-risk populations.[3]