Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - 2015 - Europe

Lung Cancer Fact Sheet - 2015 - Europe

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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


  • The 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is lower in the UK than in the U.S. or the rest of Europe. According to the Eurocare 4 Study, 8.95 percent of lung cancer patients will be alive after five years, compared with 12.3 percent in Europe and 15 percent in the U.S.5
  • In European women, lung cancer rates might reach or outnumber those of breast cancer with predicted lung cancer rates rising 9 percent to 14.24/100,000 in 2015. Other cancer rates are trending downward; breast cancer and colon cancer are predicted to be down 10 percent and  8 percent  in women.6
  • Teenagers in Europe have a much higher susceptibility to taking up smoking than kids in the rest of the world. In a survey of never-smokers who were asked whether they would smoke a cigarette if it were offered by their best friend and whether they thought they might smoke a cigarette within the next year, 30 percent of teenagers in the European region were susceptible to starting smoking within the next year versus 19 percent worldwide. 7


  • 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.

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. Access Date: Sept 26,2015:

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:

5United Kingdom Lung Cancer Coalition. Access Date: Oct. 26, 2015:

 6Annals of Oncology. European Cancer Mortality Predictions for the Year 2015: Does Lung Cancer have the Highest Death Rate in EU Women?. Access date: Oct. 26, 2015:

7The Lancet. Patterns of global tobacco use in young people and implications for future chronic disease burden in adults. March 4, 2006. Access Date: October 26, 2015: