12,434 new cases of lung cancer are estimated to be diagnosed in Australia this year.
Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells grow in an uncontrolled way in one or both lungs. It often spreads (metastasises) to other parts of the body before the cancer can be detected in the lungs.
There are two main types of lung cancer; non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer. The most common non-small cell lung cancers are:
Adenocarcinoma: Begins in mucus producing cells and is most commonly diagnosed in current or former smokers, although it is also the most common lung cancer in non-smokers.
Squamous cell (epidermoid) carcinoma: Commonly develops in the larger airways of the lung.
Small cell lung cancer usually begins in the middle of the lungs and spreads more quickly than non-small cell cancer.
Lung cancer occurs in males and females. It is estimated that in 2017, 12,434 new cases of lung cancer (7,094 males and 5,340 females) will be diagnosed, making it the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in Australia.