Lung cancer statistics: latest information
Lung cancer remains an important health threat, and the number one killer among different types of cancer.
In 2012, 1,824,701 new cases were diagnosed around the world, which is calculated to 13% of all cancers. During the same period, 1,589,800 patients with this type of cancer died, which is corresponds to about 1 in 5 lives claimed from any type of cancer.
Different trends around the world
The incidence of lung cancer declines in USA and Western Europe whereas it is increasing in the developing world. It is estimated that the incidence of lung cancer in China in 2030 will be double compared to 2006, although Hong Kong has shown some decreasing figures which are optimistic.
Among all countries, Hungary has the highest incidence of lung cancer in men (76.6 in every 100,000 men) and Denmark in women (37.6 in every 100,000 women).
Is smoking always the reason?
It has been estimated that 1 billion people are smoking, globally, and 6 million will die because of tobacco.
However, lung cancer is not always related to smoking. In developed countries, 91% of men and 71% of women with lung cancer are associated to smoking. These percentages are much lower in Asian people, where more non-smoking women have lung cancer.
Genetic factors in lung cancer: the EGFR mutation
Furthermore, there is a genetic mutation which is also a lung cancer factor: the “Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor” (EGFR) mutation. Like other lung cancer factors, the EGFR mutation incidence is not the same in different parts of the world, either. For instance, it is generally higher in Asian patients with adenocarcinoma (50-60%), while it is 25% in India and only 12-18% in the western world.
There is no clear explanation for this difference, but several reports describe genetic changes (including the 5p15 & 15q25 genes).
Lung cancer remains a topic of intense study
Clearly, and despite important progress, lung cancer remains a cause of great concern across the globe, as it affects millions of people and their loved ones worldwide. The scientific community remains committed in improving its prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, and topics like the above were discussed at the 2014 European Lung Cancer Conference which took place in Geneva, Switzerland. Further work is necessary from all constituents to make further improvements a reality.
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