Key points

  • Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Europe, accounting for approximately 20% of all cancer deaths and for the loss of 3.2 million disability-adjusted life-years annually in Europe.
  • More than a quarter of lung cancer cases occur among the under-60s.
  • Despite recent advances in surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, seven out of eight patients die within 5 years of diagnosis. However, recent advances in understanding the biology of lung cancer are resulting in promising new targeted therapies.
  • Smoking is by far the most important cause of lung cancer, accounting for 90% of cases in men and 80% in women. Reducing smoking and therefore eventually reducing the incidence of lung cancer requires sustained government action.

See the entire Lung Cancer Chapter