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 common non-skin cancer among American men and women, after prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in 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 American Cancer Society, the lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is about 1 in 13 for men and 1 in 16 for women. In 2017, an estimated 222,500 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in the United States.