Lung cancer facts

Lung cancer is the UK’s biggest cancer killer.1

It kills over 35,000 people in the UK each year, which is more than bowel cancer, prostate cancer, and liver cancer combined.1

The disease accounts for a fifth of all UK cancer deaths (21 per cent)2 and one in seven (13 per cent) of all new UK cancer cases.3 Four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour – someone every 15 minutes.2

More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer and, despite being labelled a ‘smoker’s disease’, lung cancer in never smokers is the 8th most common cause of cancer-related death in the UK.4,5

Lung cancer patients in the UK are diagnosed with more advanced disease than many other countries and almost 40% first reach specialist care via an emergency admission to hospital6 – which leads to poorer outcomes. Earlier diagnosis is therefore critical to improving lung cancer survival.

  1. Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed Aug 2020: 
  2. Figures from Cancer Research UK accessed Aug 2020:
  3. Figures from Cancer Research UK, accessed August 2020:
  4. Figures from Cancer Research UK accessed Aug 2020:
  5. Peake et al. Lung cancer in never smokers: a hidden disease. Accessed August 2020 at:
  6. Elliss-Brookes L et al. Routes to diagnosis for cancer – determining the patient journey using multiple routine data sets. Br J Cancer. 2012, 107(8):1220-6

If you want to know more about Lung Cancer in the other UK nations click here


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