The epidemiology of lung cancer

Patricia M. de Groot, Carol C. Wu, Brett W. Carter, Reginald F. Munden


The incidence and mortality from lung cancer is decreasing in the US due to decades of public education and tobacco control policies, but are increasing elsewhere in the world related to the commencement of the tobacco epidemic in various countries and populations in the developing world. Individual cigarette smoking is by far the most common risk factor for lung carcinoma; other risks include passive smoke inhalation, residential radon, occupational exposures, infection and genetic susceptibility. The predominant disease burden currently falls on minority populations and socioeconomically disadvantaged people. In the US, the recent legalization of marijuana for recreational use in many states and the rapid growth of commercially available electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) present challenges to public health for which little short term and no long term safety data is available.