What is lung cancer?
The lungs are two large organs made of spongy tissue, which lie above the diaphragm and under the rib cage. When you breathe in, your lungs absorb oxygen and deliver it to the bloodstream where it’s pumped throughout the body. When you exhale, the lungs remove carbon dioxide, a waste gas, from the bloodstream. Lung cancer interferes with this vital process and can make breathing more difficult.
Lung cancer incidence
Lung cancer is the second-most diagnosed cancer among both men and women. Smoking significantly increases a person’s chance of developing the disease, but people who have never smoked may develop lung cancer, too.
According to the National Cancer Institute, one out of every 14 Americans will be diagnosed with lung or airway cancer in their lifetime. In 2009, there were more than 219,000 people diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States.