It’s that time of year again! Time for my annual appeal on behalf of lung cancer awareness, in memory of my mom and all of the other hundreds of thousands of people who are battling this under-funded, under-publicized, overly deadly disease.
For those of you who did not know or need a refresher, here are some true and honest facts about lung cancer:
- Each year in the US, approximately 228,000 people are diagnosed with lung cancer and nearly 160,000 die of the disease.¹
- 1 in 14 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer.¹
- Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer, but approximately 60%-65% of all new lung cancer diagnoses are among people who have never smoked or have already quit smoking. About 50% are former smokers and 10%-15% have never smoked:5
- Lung cancer takes more lives than breast, prostate and colon cancers combined; it accounts for 27% of all cancer deaths.¹
- African American males have the highest incidence of lung cancer and the highest death rate.
- Men’s incidence rates began declining more than 20 years ago, while women’s rates just recently began to decline slightly, after rising for many years.
Lung Cancer in North Carolina
- In North Carolina, around 8,559 people are diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than 6,186 are expected to die this year.
Did you know?
- Over the last 30 years, substantial investment has resulted in significant increases in survival of many diseases. For example:
- US Government research funding: $750 million/year²
- Results: significant increase in 5-year survival rates:4
- Early 1970s – 75%
- Today – 90%
- US Government research funding: $3 billion/year²
- AIDS was once a near-immediate death sentence
- Today – with anti-retroviral drug therapy, the 3-year survival rate is 90%.
- US Government research funding: Only $267 million/year ²³
- Results: very little change in 5-year survival rates:4
- Early 1970s – 12%
- Today – 17%