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Open Access Special Issue

Epidemiology of lung cancer and the gender differences in risk

  • Mark Jaradeh1
  • Wickii T. Vigneswaran1,*,

1Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Loyola University Medical Center, Maywood, IL 60153, USA

DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1803073 Vol.18,Issue 3,March 2022 pp.1-10

Submitted: 30 November 2021 Accepted: 17 January 2022

Published: 31 March 2022

(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lung Cancer: The Changing Paradigm)

*Corresponding Author(s): Wickii T. Vigneswaran E-mail:


Background: Lung cancer has progressed from an exceedingly rare disease to the leading cause of all cancer-related deaths, a phe-nomenon largely attributed to the impact of tobacco smoking and resulting global epidemic. Methods: A thorough literature search was conducted to identify relevant factors in the epidemiology of lung cancer with a focus on recent studies and developments that had the most significant impact on the current understanding of lung cancer. Results: Most recent data suggests the global burden of lung cancer is continuing to rise with 2.2 million new cases in 2020 alone. Although no difference is noted among men, a higher rate of lung cancer deaths among women in the industrialized countries are observed compared to developing nations. Incidence and deaths are closely linked to cigarette smoking. Other risk factors include occupational hazards, increasing air pollution with pulmonary infectious diseases and inflammatory conditions, and genetic factors. Tobacco continues to cause approximately 90% of all lung cancer deaths with a markedly wide variety of incidence rates both geographically and between males and females. Lung cancer incidence has been falling in US and UK since 1990 largely due to comprehensive tobacco control programs. In contrast higher rates of cigarette smoking among emerging nations is a concern. The unprecedented, widespread adoption of electronic-cigarette use among adolescents may pose major obstacles in the prevention and treatment of lung cancer. Conclusions: While the vast majority of current lung cancer cases and deaths continue to be caused by tobacco consumption, shifts in population behaviors, geographical location, and potential new causes may alter this distribution. Further work is crucial in order to better understand the risk factors for lung cancer in the modern world so that a more holistic proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach, can be taken.


lung cancer; epidemiology; smoking; tobacco

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Mark Jaradeh,Wickii T. Vigneswaran. Epidemiology of lung cancer and the gender differences in risk. Journal of Men's Health. 2022. 18(3);1-10.


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