VoxHealth
Medical Conditions

Lung cancer

Synonyms: Bronchogenic carcinoma, Carcinoma of the lung, Pulmonary carcinoma

Overview

Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers in the world. It is a leading cause of cancer death in men and women in the United States. Cigarette smoking causes most lung cancers. The more cigarettes you smoke per day and the earlier you started smoking, the greater your risk of lung cancer. High levels of pollution, radiation and asbestos exposure may also increase risk.

Doctors diagnose lung cancer using a physical exam, imaging, and lab tests. Treatment depends on the type, stage, and how advanced it is. Treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and targeted therapy. Targeted therapy uses substances that attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

NIH: National Cancer Institute

www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus

Symptoms

Symptom
Frequency
Shortness of breath
Cough
Fatigue
General weakness
General pain
Chest pain
Difficulty breathing
Nausea
Back pain
Vomiting
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Fever
Reduced appetite
Coughing up blood
Anemia
Dizziness
Abdominal pain
Drainage in throat
Headache
Diarrhea
Weight loss
Difficulty swallowing
Edema

Demographics

Age Distribution

The average age of someone with lung cancer is 66.

Gender Distribution

Lung cancer is significantly more common among males.

Prognosis

The average prognosis for someone diagnosed with lung cancer is poor. The average five-year survival rate is 17%, meaning that only 17% of people are still alive five years after their diagnosis.

Prognosis by Stage

Localized
Regional
Distant

If caught early (in the localized stage), the average five-year survival rate is 54%. Once the cancer has metastasized (the distant stage), the five-year survival rate drops to 4%.

Medications

Prescription

Medication Name
Substance
Drug Class
Carboplatin
carboplatin
Alkylating Agents
Cisplatin
cisplatin
Alkylating Agents
Taxol
paclitaxel
Mitotic Inhibitors
Gemzar
gemcitabine
Antimetabolites
Camptosar
irinotecan
Topoisomerase I Inhibitors
Avastin
bevacizumab
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Cyramza
ramacirumab
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Tarceva
erlotinib
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Gilotrif
afatinib
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Iressa
gefitinib
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Xalkori
crizotinib
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Zykadia
ceritinib
Protein Kinase Inhibitors
Opdivo
nivolumab
Immunomodulators
Zofran
ondansetron
Antiemetic/antivertigo Agents

Risk Factors

Racial/Ethnic Distribution

Prevalence is significantly higher among Caucasians.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco use is a significant risk factor for lung cancer. Someone who smokes is roughly 2 times more likely to be affected.

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All the data above are calculated from anonymized medical records.

Bars in this color represent statistically significant associations.