Lung Cancer (small cell) Overview

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What Is Lung Cancer - Small Cell? TOPICS

How many people get lung cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) in the United States for 2014 are:

  • About 224,210 new cases of lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell)
  • About 159,260 deaths from lung cancer

Lung cancer (both small cell and non-small cell) is the second most common cancer in both men and women (not counting skin cancer), and it is by far the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Lung cancer occurs mainly in older people. It is fairly rare in people under the age of 45.

The average lifetime chance that a man will develop lung cancer is about 1 in 13. For a woman it is about 1 in 16. These numbers include both smokers and non-smokers. For smokers the risk is much higher, while for non-smokers the risk is lower.

Survival statistics based on the stage (extent) of the cancer are covered in the section, “Survival rates for small cell lung cancer.”


Last Medical Review: 09/09/2013
Last Revised: 02/11/2014