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 breast, bowel, bladder and uterine cancer combined.1

The disease accounts for nearly a quarter of all UK cancer deaths (22 per cent) and one in seven (13 per cent) of all new UK cancer cases.2 Four people die from lung cancer in the UK every hour – someone every 15 minutes.3

More women die from lung cancer than breast cancer4 and, despite being labelled a ‘smoker’s disease’, one in eight people with lung cancer have never smoked.5

Despite being the commonest killing cancer in the UK, lung cancer only receives just over eight percent of all UK site- specific cancer research funding.6

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 hospital – which leads to poorer outcomes. Earlier diagnosis is therefore critical to improving lung cancer survival.

1. Cancer Research UK mortality statistics accessed at:
2. Cancer Research UK statistics accessed at
3. Cancer Research UK statistics accessed at:
4. Accessed at:
5. Be clear on cancer accessed at:
6. National Cancer Research Institute. Research spend by disease site 2015-16:
7. 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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