Lung cancer

Lung cancer is now the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide in both men and women.

Lung cancer is cancer of the trachea (windpipe), bronchus (airway) or lung air sacs (alveoli). It was a rare disease at the start of the 20th century, but increase in exposure to tobacco smoke and other triggers of the disease have contributed to a pandemic in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Survival rates vary depending on the type of cancer and at what stage the disease is diagnosed.

“Working together with professionals and patients, we must strive to facilitate the early detection of lung cancer, as well as to improve and harmonize lung cancer care throughout Europe. Close collaboration with our European and national partners will be a key part of this. Access to the latest data in lung cancer is essential for these aims as it helps us identify risk factors, speed up diagnosis, and increase the effectiveness of treatments.” Torsten Gerriet Blum, Senior Physician Clinic for Pneumology and Head of the ERS Thoracic Oncology Assembly.

Lung cancer in numbers

in 2019 in the WHO European region

The charts below present data from GBD studies to provide a uniform evaluation of the state of lung health. To find out more about how this data is put together, visit the methodology page. All charts are freely available to download by clicking the three dots in the top right hand corner. Please reference Lung Facts when sharing.

  • Europe: the big picture
  • Incidence rate
  • Incidence numbers
  • Prevalence rate
  • Prevalence numbers
  • Mortality rate
  • Mortality numbers
  • Years of life (YLL) rate
  • Years of life (YLL) numbers
  • Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) rate
  • Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) numbers
  • Monetised DALYS – societal cost for whole population in international dollars
  • Monetised DALYS – societal cost per 100,000 people in international dollars