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Lung Cancer

Lung Cancer: What You Need to Know

Illustration of lungs.
  • Lung cancer is the second most common cancer and the leading cause of death in men and women.
  • Deaths from lung cancer exceed the number of deaths from breast cancer, prostate cancer and colon cancer combined.
  • Smoking is the primary cause of lung cancer, and quitting smoking is essential to prevention and treatment.
  • It’s never too late to quit! Even if you’ve been diagnosed with lung cancer, you will do better as an ex-smoker than a current smoker.
  • Common symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, wheezing, chest pain, shortness of breath and bloody mucus in the cough.

Patient Resources

Lung Cancer Research

Model of a DNA strand

Immunotherapy Emerges as Lung Cancer Treatment Option

Compared with chemotherapy in a head-to-head clinical trial, an immunotherapy drug lengthened life expectancy by an average of three months.

Cancer’s Genetic Footprints

Catching adenocarcinoma may one day be as a simple as a blood test. Researchers have discovered genetic changes that indicate the very start of this deadly disease’s development.

Breaking Barriers in Treatments for Lung Disease

Nanotechnology passes the hard-to-breach mucus barrier in the lungs, opening the door for enhanced treatments for lung diseases.

PD-1 and PD-L1

See how researchers are helping the immune system bypass cancer’s defenses.

Ask the Expert

Dr. David Feller Kopman speaking with a patient.

Pulmonologist David Feller-Kopman addresses common questions and concerns about lung health.

What can I do to lower my risk of lung cancer?

Smokers and former smokers make up more than half of new lung cancer cases, so the best thing to do is stop smoking. Other risk factors include secondhand smoke, radon, asbestos, air pollution and family history.

Should I be screened for lung cancer?

If you are between the ages of 55 and 80 and have smoked a pack of cigarettes per day for 30 years or two packs a day for 15 years, you may benefit from annual lung cancer screenings using low-dose CT scans.

What are the benefits of lung cancer screening?

Lung cancer is the most deadly cancer in the United States and will kill over 200,000 Americans this year. The high mortality of lung cancer is related to the fact that it is often diagnosed at a late stage, when it is incurable.

The benefits of lives saved by screening far exceed concerns over radiation exposure and costs of medical procedures needed to diagnose an abnormality seen on a CT scan.

Can e-cigarettes cause lung cancer?

Long-term health effects of e-cigarettes are not well-understood. Generally speaking, e-cigarettes are less toxic than normal cigarettes, but many still contain known cancer-causing compounds. More recent research has suggested that e-cigarettes put users at greater risk for respiratory infections.

Learn About Lung Health

Couple embraces outdoors.

Former Smokers: What's Your Risk for Lung Cancer?

You quit smoking years ago — maybe even decades ago — but can’t help wondering if your old habits left you with a greater chance of developing lung cancer. Learn about your risk and the screening schedule experts recommend.

Electronic cigarette emitting vapors

If You Think E-Cigarettes Aren’t Bad For You, Think Again

“Vaping” has become a new trend among American adults and teens. But before picking up a new habit, see why electronic cigarettes may not be as safe as you think.

Online Seminar: Treatment Options for Lung Cancer

Patient speaking with doctor.

Join Johns Hopkins thoracic oncology experts Julie Brahmer and Richard Battafarano in this free online seminar to learn about treatments for lung cancer and how pioneering research is leading to new options for patients. Viewers may also submit questions.

Register today.

Lung Cancer Videos

Lung Cancer | Q&A

Julie Brahmer, director of the Thoracic Oncology Program at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, answers frequently asked questions regarding lung cancer treatment and new research discoveries.

Campus Tour

Take a video tour of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center campus’ Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center and its state-of-the-art facilities for cancer treatment. Meet the multidisciplinary team providing comfort and individualized, world-class cancer care to our patients.

Find a Lung Cancer Specialist

Since opening in 1973, the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center has led the world in deciphering the mechanisms of cancer and new ways to treat it. No matter where you are on your journey, our team of experts can help.

Request an Appointment