Lung Cancer Prevention and Early Detection

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer), and is by far the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined.

Most lung cancers could be prevented, because they are related to smoking (or secondhand smoke), or less often to exposure to radon or other environmental factors. But some lung cancers occur in people without any known risk factors for the disease. It is not yet clear if these cancers can be prevented.

Most lung cancers have already spread widely and are at an advanced stage when they are first found. These cancers are very hard to cure. But in recent years, doctors have found a test that can be used to screen for lung cancer in people at high risk of the disease. This test can help find some of these cancers early, which can lower the risk of dying from this disease.