This page lists additional lung cancer data figures, including hospitalizations, histology, biomarkers, staging, survival, screening, causes, and cost.

Hospitalizations

  • In 2017, the rate of hospitalizations for lung cancer was 37.2 per 100,000.
  • Due to a change in diagnosis codes, rates from 2015 and before are not comparable to those from 2016 and later.
  • From 1993 to 2015, the lung cancer hospitalization rate decreased by 0.8 points per year.

Histology

  • In 2013-2017, most (87%) lung cancer cases were non-small cell.
  • Of these non-small cell cases, over half (52%) were adenocarcinoma.

Biomarkers

Staging

  • In 2010-2016, most (57%) lung cancer cases were not diagnosed until the tumor had already spread to other parts of the body (distant stage).
  • Only 17% of cases were diagnosed at an early stage when the tumor was still limited to the lungs (localized stage).
  • The percent of people still alive 5 years after diagnoses, or the 5-year survival rate, was only 6% for those diagnosed at the distant stage, compared to 59% for those diagnosed at the localized stage.
  • Survival is higher for cases diagnosed early because treatment is more likely to be curative.

Survival

  • The percent of people still alive 5 years after being diagnosed with lung cancer, or the 5-year survival rate, was 21.8% in 2010-2016.
  • The lung cancer 5-year survival rate increased steadily from 1984-1986 to 2002-2004, and since then has increased at a faster rate.

Learn more about the lung cancer survival rate in your state in our State of Lung Cancer report.

Screening

  • In 2019, 5.7% of those at high risk were screened for lung cancer using a low-dose computed tomography (CT) scan. High risk is defined as:
    • 55-80 years of age;
    • Have a 30 pack-year history of smoking (this means 1 pack a day for 30 years, 2 packs a day for 15 years, etc.);
    • AND, are a current smoker, or have quit within the last 15 years.
  • Screening those at high risk for lung cancer with low-dose CT scans can reduce the lung cancer mortality rate by around 20% and was recommended by the United States Preventative Services Task Force in 2014.
  • Screening has increased steadily every year since 2015.

Learn more about the lung cancer screening rate in your state in our State of Lung Cancer report.

Causes

  • The majority of lung cancer cases are caused by cigarette smoking.
  • Other causes include exposure to radon, occupational carcinogens, and outdoor air pollution.

Cost

  • In 2018, lung cancer medical care accounted for $14.2 billion in expenditures.
  • In 2005, lung cancer accounted for an additional $36.1 billion in lost productivity due to death.
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. HCUPnet, Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, 1993-2017. Analysis by the American Lung Association Epidemiology and Statistics Unit.
  • Alberg AJ & Samet J. Epidemiology of Lung Cancer. Chest, January 2003; 123:21S-49S.
  • American College of Radiology. Lung Cancer Screening Registry State Level Comparison, 2014-2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey, 2013-2019. Analysis by the American Lung Association Epidemiology and Statistics Unit using SPSS software.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. CDC WONDER On-line Database, compiled from Multiple Cause of Death Files, 1999-2019.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey, 2015. Analysis performed by the American Lung Association Epidemiology and Statistics Unit using SPSS software.
  • Tsao AS, et al. Scientific Advances in Lung Cancer 2015. Journal of Thoracic Oncology. 2016; 11(5):613-38.
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute. Cancer Trends Progress Report – Financial Burden of Cancer Care. March, 2020.
  • U.S. National Institutes of Health. National Cancer Institute: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2017.
  • Wingo PA et al. Long-Term Trends in Cancer Mortality in the United States, 1930 –1998. Cancer, 2003; 97(11 Suppl):3133-275.
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