Lung cancer: the facts

The big picture

Lung cancer has been the most common cancer in the world for several decades, accounting for

1 in 5

of all cancer deaths¹

Worldwide, three people die from lung cancer every minute²

This is more per year than breast, colorectal and prostate cancer combined³

Diagnosis, staging & treatment ⁴,⁵

more than 2/3

of patients are diagnosed with lung cancer at a later stage when their survival chances are lower

Early-stage lung cancer - key facts

Prognosis 55% survival

  • Grey: Instances

  • Red: Survival %


One tumor in lung


Surgery and chemotherapy

Locally advanced lung cancer - key facts

Prognosis 28% survival

  • Grey: Instances

  • Red: Survival %


A number of tumours in lung and periphery


Surgery, radiation and chemotherapy

Advanced lung cancer - key facts

Prognosis 4% survival

  • Grey: Instances

  • Red: Survival %


Other organs also affected


Systemic treatment (e.g. targeted therapy / chemotherapy)

During later stages of lung cancer systemic treatments are key. Of these systemic treatments, targeted therapies e.g. monoclonal antibodies have demonstrated survival benefits for patients


  1. Cancer Research UK. [Accessed May 2016]

  2. WHO. Calculation by Roche - 1.59 million deaths per year / 365 days – 4,356 deaths per day / 24 hours = 181 deaths per hour / 60 minutes = 3 deaths per minute

  3. GLOBOCAN. [Accessed December 2016]

  4. Goldstraw et al. The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: Proposals for the Revision of the TNM Stage Groupings in the Forthcoming (Seventh)

    Edition of the TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours. Journal of Thoracic Oncology 2007; 2: 706_714

  5. National Cancer Institute. SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1975-2013 - Lung cancer. Available at: . [Accessed December 2016]