November 21, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                    
November 21, 2013

Jim Wood
(703) 837-3692

According to a recent survey investigating awareness of lung cancer symptoms and smoking prevalence, over 70% of surveyed Americans could name symptoms of lung cancer, the leading cancer killer in the U.S. for both men and women. Findings from the U.S. were broadly reflective of overall global results. For instance, in the U.S., 18% were current smokers and 56% had never smoked regularly, with American women more likely to say that they have never smoked than men (62% vs. 50%).

Annually in the U.S., over 226,000 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer and nearly 160,000 will die of the disease. Smoking is the most common and significant cause of lung cancer, which contributes to the stigma around the disease. People who smoke now or have a history of heavy smoking are at greatest risk for developing lung cancer, although some people may develop lung cancer who have never smoked at all.

“Patients are often diagnosed with lung cancer at a very late stage when treatment is no longer an option,” said Dr. Matthew Peters, chair of The Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC). “If we can get patients diagnosed earlier, we can treat them and save lives. That is why being aware of the symptoms is so important.”

Overall, breathlessness was the most commonly identified symptom (41% of respondents mentioned it spontaneously on average across the countries) but a similar proportion identified a cough or coughing (39% on average across the countries). Others mentioned more specific types of coughing such as coughing blood or a cough that gets worse.

When asked what the symptoms of lung cancer are, those who had never smoked appeared most aware, citing on average 2.01 symptoms. In comparison with other countries, the proportion of Americans unable to spontaneously identify any symptoms of lung cancer when asked was fairly high (26%).

The research, which was carried out by Ipsos MORI on behalf of GLCC, was conducted in 21 countries. U.S. GLCC members include the Prevent Cancer Foundation, CANCERcare, the Lung Cancer Alliance and the National Lung Cancer Partnership.


For more information or to request a full copy of the report (country specific reports are also available), please contact Emma Dewar on +44333 323 7200/+447702 898 780 or or visit

Created in 2001, the Global Lung Cancer Coalition (GLCC) is an international group of patient organizations dedicated to supporting the needs of lung cancer patients. The GLCC is also the first truly international patient alliance to promote global understanding of the burden of lung cancer and the rights of patients to effective early detection, better treatment and supportive care. By serving as the international voice of lung cancer patients, the GLCC is committed to improving disease outcomes for all.


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