Everything you need to know about lung cancer

What is it and who's getting it

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There are three types of lung cancer:

Non-small cell lung cancer (85% of cases)

Small cell lung cancer (10-15% of cases)

Lung carcinoid tumors (5% of cases)

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer mortality in the US, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths

Who’s getting lung cancer?

  • Men have higher rates of lung cancer than women, but that gap is closing. 
  • Black men are about 15% more likely to develop lung cancer than White men.
  • White women are about 14% more likely to develop lung cancer than Black women.

Survival Rates:

Black and White patients experience different survival rates after being treated for the most common form of lung cancer (non-small cell).

1 year after treatment, survival rates are

  • 22% for Black patients
  • 30% for White patients

5 years after treatment, survival rates are:

  • 13% for Black patients
  • 16% for White patients

These disparities are likely due to differences in access to cancer care before diagnosis. Not having access to care prior to diagnosis can result in poorer overall patient health at the time of diagnosis, which makes the cancer harder to treat.


  • White and Black Americans smoke cigarettes at significantly higher rates than other racial/ethnic groups
  • Despite smoking cigarettes at lower rates than White women, Black women have a higher chance of dying from lung cancer
  • Black men die at higher rates from lung cancer compared to White men
  • The rate at which people are dying from lung cancer is falling fastest among Hispanic men