Lung Cancer is the most common cancer in Canada that affects both men and women and is usually diagnosed in individuals less than 40 years of age. 1 in 11 men will get lung cancer and 1 in 13 men will die from lung cancer annually. 1 in 15 women will get lung cancer and 1 in 17 women will die from lung cancer annually. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related death in Canada and worldwide. There is a low 5-year survival rate of 16%. Current rates of lung cancer in Canada are declining in men, but increasing in women.
There are many risk factors that can increase the chance of developing lung cancer. Smoking cigarettes will increase risk of lung cancer by 20%. An infection history of Tuberculosis (TB) can significantly increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Like most cancers, a first-degree relative with lung cancer can increase the chance of developing lung cancer and poor diet and lifestyle choices can also increase the chance of developing cancer.
Environmental Risk Factors for lung cancer include: second-hand smoke, radon gas exposure (or radiation to the chest), asbestos exposure, air pollution and heavy metal accumulation (nickel, arsenic and chromium).
Screening for lung cancer is not as prevalent as for other cancers. Investigations usually begin once symptoms arise.