Lung cancer: epidemiology, etiology, and prevention

Clin Chest Med. 2011 Dec;32(4):605-44. doi: 10.1016/j.ccm.2011.09.001.


Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States and around the world. A vast majority of lung cancer deaths are attributable to cigarette smoking, and curbing the rates of cigarette smoking is imperative. Understanding the epidemiology and causal factors of lung cancer can provide additional foundation for disease prevention. This article focuses on modifiable risk factors, including tobacco smoking, occupational carcinogens, diet, and ionizing radiation. It also discusses briefly the molecular and genetic aspects of lung carcinogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Air Pollution / adverse effects
  • Diet
  • Female
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms* / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms* / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Obesity / complications
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive / complications
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects