Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - 2015 - Asia

Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - 2015 - Asia

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Contact:  Jeff Wolf                                                                                           Becky Bunn                                      
IASLC Director of Communications                                                             IASLC Projects Specialist     | 720-325-2952                                               | 720-325-2946                                                                                                

IASLC Highlights Promising Advances

WHAT:  Lung Cancer Awareness Month

WHEN:  November 1-30, 2015


  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide. Every year, lung cancer causes more than 1.6 million deaths; more than breast, colon and prostate cancers combined.
  • On a per death basis, lung cancer receives 7 percent of the funding breast cancer receives in the U.S., and this is representative of the rest of the world.1
  • Funding for lung cancer research is critical due to the disease’s prominence and because doctors often find lung cancer in later stages, when it is less treatable. New advances hold great promise for screening, early detection and personalized therapies, but need financial support.
  • Not only smokers get lung cancer. For example, in the U.S., about 31,000 people die each year from non-smoking-related lung cancer (about the same number as die from prostate cancer).
  • Other causes of lung cancer include radon gas in homes (20,000 deaths/year), workplace exposure, second-hand smoke, cancer treatments and genetics.2
  • Lung cancer does not have to be fatal. Groundbreaking new treatments dramatically alter lung cancer survival rates every day.
  • In 2012, the tobacco industry spent over 40 times more on tobacco advertising and promotion in the U.S. than the NIH spent on lung cancer research ($9.6 billion tobacco industry versus $233 million NIH research).3


  • New immunotherapy (using the body’s own immune cells to attack cancer cells) shows great promise for patients with advanced, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
  • Personalized medicine is providing hope by treating a patient already diagnosed with lung cancer with drugs that are effective based on specific characteristics of their tumor.
  • Evidence suggests that quitting smoking measurably improves patient survival.
  • Screening with low-dose CT can reduce lung cancer deaths by 20 percent compared to standard chest X-ray among adults with a 30 pack-a-year smoking history who were current smokers or had quit within 15 years.4


  • 51 percent of the world’s lung cancer cases occur in Asia.5
  • 21 percent of cancer deaths in Asia are due to lung cancer.6
  • China is the largest consumer of tobacco in the world with about 301 million current smokers.7
  • About two-thirds of young Chinese men smoke, and estimates indicate half of them will die as a result of smoking if they don’t quit.8
  • Smoking deaths in China are estimated to be around 2 million in 2030 and are expected to triple by 2050 to 3 million people a year – more than the population of Chicago.9


  • Education is critical; people need to know to ask their doctors about screening if they have risk factors. They need to know about smoking cessation programs, clinical trials and new developments that promise hope for lung cancer treatment.
  • Changing the perception of lung cancer can lead to greater support and funding which will increase survival rates and help turn lung cancer into a manageable, chronic disease.

For more information, visit To speak with an expert from any region across the globe, please reach out to IASLC Director of Communications Jeff Wolf or Projects Specialist Becky Bunn.

Download a PDF version of this fact sheet in English.

Download a PDF version of this fact sheet in Chinese.

Download a PDF version of this fact sheet in Japanese.

About the IASLC:

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) is the only global organization dedicated to the study of lung cancer. Founded in 1974, the association's membership includes more than 4,000 lung cancer specialists in over 90 countries.  The IASLC brings together leading clinicians and scientists from around the world to engage international collaboration and to share best practices in the fight against lung cancer. Just in the past year, the IASLC helped develop a Staging and Classification System used by doctors worldwide to more effectively stage and treat lung cancer. Visit for more information.


1LCSM Lung Cancer Facts. Access Date: Oct. 7, 2015:

2U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Radon. (26-Aug-2013). Accessed date: Sept 30, 2015:

3Federal Trade Commission Cigarette Report for 2012. Federal Trade Commission (2015). Access Date: Sept. 30, 2015:

 And NIH Estimates of Funding for Various Research, Condition, and Disease Categories (RCDC). Access Date: Sept. 30, 2015:

4New England Journal of Medicine, Reduced Lung-Cancer Mortality with Low-Dose Computed Tomographic Screening. Access Date: Sept. 30, 2015:

5World Cancer Report 2014.Steward, Bernard and Wild, Christopher (eds). Lyon 2014.

6World Health Organization. Globocan 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012. Access Date: October 26, 2015:

7New England Journal of Medicine. Prevalence of Smoking in China in 2010. Access Date: October 22, 2015:

8 Access Date: Oct. 12, 2015.

9The Lancet. Smoking Cessation for Chinese Men and Prevention for Women. Access Date: Oct 26, 2015: