Medical Awareness >>   Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer

Lung cancer is a cancer form that originates in the lungs. It is one of the cancers that has caused the highest number of cancer deaths worldwide. Though lung cancer can also occur in people who have never smoked, people who smoke have the highest risk. The risk of lung cancer increases with the frequency and the amount of time in smoking. Therefore, one can significantly reduce the chances of developing lung cancer if they quit smoking. Lung cancer, also referred to as bronchogenic carcinoma, refers to tumors originating in lung parenchyma or within bronchi. It is one of the most paramount causes of cancer-related deaths in the United States and India. Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths as compared to breast cancer in women. It has been evaluated that there are 225,000 new cases in the United States annually, and approximately 160,000 people die because of lung cancer. However, it is a thin on the ground disease in today’s time. It is ascribable to the increased smoking tendency among both males and females now-a-days that both are at risk of lung cancers. In simple words, lung cancer starts in the lungs and begins when cells grow out of control.



Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths as compared to breast cancer in women. World Lung Cancer Day is celebrated on August 1. Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer worldwide, about 12.4% of cancers found or diagnosed around the world, this is the most cardinal cause of cancer-related deaths. There have been around 1.8 million deaths worldwide, as per the global cancer statistics report of 2020. Lung cancer cases are profoundly found in developed and underdeveloped countries both with mortality rate more in males comparative to females. In India, 5.9% of all cancers diagnosed and 8.1% cancer related deaths are due to lung cancers. The projected incidence of lung cancers in India is 94.1 per 100, 000 for males and 103.6 per 100,000 for females for 2020. And these figures are only increasing daily in India and worldwide. 

Lung Cancer Causes

One of the commonest lung diseases is lung cancer. Smoking is the routine cause of lung cancer. This risk of smoking causing lung cancer is both in males and females but it is the males that are at higher risk. The risk is further compounded with exposure to carcinogens. However, there is no correlation between the number of packs smoked per year and the intensity of lung cancer as there is a complex interplay between smoking, environmental and genetic factors. Around 90% lung cancer occurs due to active smoking and 20-30% due to long term passive smoking. There are some causative factors independent of smoking that cause lung cancer such as exposure to radiation in some non-lung cancer treatment, exposure to carcinogenic metals, some lung diseases like idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis that predispose a person to lung cancer. Toxic carcinogenic metals are asbestos, radon, chromium, arsenic etc. Dysplasia of lung epithelium occurs by exposure to carcinogens repeatedly. This leads to genetic mutations and affects protein synthesis in lung epithelium cells. This disrupts the cell cycle and promotes carcinogenesis leading to lung cancer.

Lung Cancer Symptoms

Lung cancer usually doesn't show symptoms in its earliest stages. The symptoms typically occur when the cancer is advanced. Indications and symptoms of lung cancer may involve:


  • Cough that doesn't go away
  • Coughing up blood, even a tiny amount
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Hoarseness
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Bone pain
  • Headache


Lung Cancer can be treated in different ways based on the histological and molecular types. Unfortunately, the majority of lung cancer are detected in high-level stages.


  • Surgery:

An operation where the cancer tissues are removed. It gives the best results in the early stage.

  • Chemotherapy:

With the help of this, the cancer cells will shrink and will be killed.

  • Targeted therapy:

With the help of the drug (usually pills), the growth of cancer cells and spread to the other parts will be blocked. 

  • Radiation therapy:

The cancer cells will be killed with the help of high energy rays. 


The United States and India have the highest rates of lung cancer. The 5-year survival rate for all forms of lung cancer patients is 22%; for men, it is 18%; and for women, it is 25%. Compared to 7% for small cell lung cancer, the 5-year survival rate for non-small cell lung cancer is 26%. A person's life expectancy is a forecast of how long they will live after receiving a given medical diagnosis. Lung cancer is considered a deadly sickness by doctors. Only 16 percent of lung cancer patients are still alive five years after their initial diagnosis.


Fact Sheet

  • Lung cancer accounts for 5.9% of all cancers and 8.1% of all cancer-related deaths in India.
  • Active smoking is related for 90% of cancer cases.
  • Exposure to radon causes 10% lung cancers.
  • More men are diagnosed with lung cancer every year than women.
  • Early lung cancer does not show symptoms.
  • Main type of screening used is a low dose CT scan.
  • There are three types of lung cancer- non small cell, small cell and lung carcinoid tumors.
  • 85% of lung cancers are non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Lung carcinoid tumors make up 5% of lung tumors.


PGC Resolution

Controlling existing cases, spreading information and awareness, and advancing the treatment of lung cancer in India.