Home CHEST News World Lung Cancer Day 2020 Fact Sheet

World Lung Cancer Day 2020 Fact Sheet

Lung cancer continues to be one of the most common cancers worldwide, claiming more lives yearly than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. World Lung Cancer Day is a great opportunity for us all to raise awareness about lung cancer, highlighting the key risk factors as well as screening and treatment options.

This World Lung Cancer Day the Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) commemorate, celebrate and support those impacted by lung cancer.

FIRS continues to support the grassroots efforts of the lung cancer community to raise awareness about lung cancer and its global impact, creating an educational movement of understanding about lung cancer risks as well as early treatment around the world.

Lung Cancer 2020 Fact Sheet

Lung cancer: the most fatal cancer

  • The most frequently diagnosed cancer is lung cancer (11.6%), followed by female breast (11.6%) and colorectal cancers (10.2%).
  • Worldwide lung cancer incidents are on track to increase by 38% to 2.89 million by 2030.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of death from cancer at 1.74 million (18.4%), followed by colorectal (9.2%) and stomach cancers (8.2%).
  • Lung cancer deaths exceed breast cancer mortality for women in 28 countries.
  • Lung cancer mortality is projected to reach 2.45 million worldwide by 2030, a 39% increase since 2018.
  • About 80% of lung cancer deaths result from smoking tobacco. Smokers exposed to other known risk factors such as radon and asbestos are at an even higher risk.
  • For men, the lung cancer most prevalent form of cancer and third for women.
  • The five-year cancer survival rate in middle-income countries for all types of lung cancer (19%) is lower than many other leading cancer sites, such as the colon (71%), breast (85%) and prostate (98.9%).

Treating lung cancer

  • In lower income countries, access to care and cost-effective treatments can reduce the human burden and societal impact of lung cancer.
  • Screening with CT scans compared with chest radiography resulted in a 20% reduction in lung cancer-specific deaths, but much cheaper and more accessible methods are needed for low-income settings.
  • Early-stage lung cancer is treated with curative-intent surgery or radiation therapy.
  • Selective patients may benefit from chemotherapy after surgical resection, while patients with local advanced disease may benefit from concurrent chemo-radiotherapy with or without surgery.
  • Although advanced stage lung cancer is not curable, many patients may have symptom improvement and survival prolongation by effective treatment.
  • Molecular-targeted therapy against epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations and anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) re-arrangements attain tumor response rates of around 70%.
  • Immunotherapy for lung cancer alone, or in combination with conventional treatments, may also improve outcomes for patients fighting lung cancer.
  • Environmental causes of lung cancer, such as radon and asbestos, can be monitored and reduced. Countries must not be allowed to export asbestos to poorer countries.
  • Other known modifiable risk factors, such as biomass fuels, diesel exhausts and air pollution must also be addressed.
  • Better screening, early diagnosis and identifying molecular targets for effective and cost-effective modern treatment should improve lung cancer outcomes.
  • Globally, efforts to reduce inequity of care and access to effective and affordable treatments are also vital for addressing the lung cancer crises around the world.

About FIRS

The Forum of International Respiratory Societies (FIRS) is an organisation comprised of the world's leading international respiratory societies working together to improve lung health globally: American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST), American Thoracic Society (ATS), Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR), Asociación Latino Americana De Tórax (ALAT), European Respiratory Society (ERS), International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases (The Union), Pan African Thoracic Society (PATS), Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA) and the Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease (GOLD).

The goal of FIRS is to unify and enhance efforts to improve lung health through the combined work of its more than 70,000 members globally.

Get Involved

Help spread the message about lung cancer:

  • Tweet including @lungsfirst, @accpchest and #WorldLungCancerDay
  • Share the press release
  • Share the Fact Sheet (PDF)
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Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card

Lung Cancer Day card