Lung cancer is cancer that begins in the lungs (other cancers that spread to the lungs, called metastases, are not lung cancer). There are two major types of lung cancer: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer that are diagnosed by the way the cells look under a microscope.
The risk factors for lung cancer include smoking and second-hand smoke (inhaling the smoke from others), environmental exposures such as exposure to radon gas (a naturally occurring gas that is odorless and colorless that comes from rocks and soil that can seep into homes and other buildings), and personal history such as a family history of lung cancer.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in the United States – more die from lung cancer than from any other type of cancer. During 2007, 203,536 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with lung cancer (109,643 men and 93,893 women), and 158,683 died from lung cancer (88,329 men and 70,354 women). It is estimated that there were 222,520 new cases of lung cancer and 157,300 deaths from lung cancer in 2010 in the U.S.
Black men had the highest incidence rate for lung cancer followed in descending order by white men, American Indians/Alaska Natives, white women, and black women. The states with the highest lung cancer incidence rates in the U.S. in 2007 were Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The states with the lowest lung cancer incidence rates were Arizona, California, Colorado, District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
The states with the highest death rates in the U.S. in 2007 were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and West Virginia. The states with the lowest death rates were Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Idaho, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The risk of getting lung cancer increases with age and is higher in men than women.
New cases of lung cancer and lung cancer deaths in men in the U.S. have been decreasing over the last several decades as the number of men who smoke has decreased (the death rate for men in the U.S. is lower than in some other countries but more men than women die from lung cancer in the U.S.). The number of women who smoke in the U.S. began decreasing more recently than for men (beginning in the late 1970s for women). The death rate for lung cancer for women in the U.S. is among the highest in the world.
Sometimes the diagnosis of lung cancer is missed or negligently delayed, causing unnecessary pain and suffering, unnecessary lost wages or loss of income, requiring otherwise unnecessary medical treatment, and may even result in an earlier death due to the misdiagnosis. If you suspect that your lung cancer or the lung cancer of a family member or friend was misdiagnosed, there may be a basis for a medical malpractice claim. Visit our website to be connected with medical malpractice lawyers in your area who may be able to assist you with your possible medical malpractice claim. You may also reach us toll free at 800-295-3959.