In the United Kingdom, over 38,000 new cases are diagnosed each year and it is estimated that, at any one time, there are 1/2 million people in the UK either developing or suffering from lung cancer.
It is known that smokers and ex-smokers have a particularly high risk of developing the disease: although most lung cancers are related to smoking, 10% of people with lung cancer have never smoked.
Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK after breast cancer.
Lung cancer is the most common cancer for men, responsible for 19% of all new cases; it is the third most common cancer in women accounting for 11% of all new cases.
The incidence of lung cancer in men continues to fall as a result of the decrease in smoking among men, but is still rising in women.
Lung cancer is uncommon in people under the age of 40, with risk increasing with age.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in men and women in the UK.
Lung cancer is the second biggest killer of men, after coronary heart disease.
In 1999 lung cancer overtook breast cancer as the leading cause of female cancer death in the UK.