Health Calendar

What is World Lung Cancer Day & why is it celebrated? read

Feb 16 2021


World Lung Cancer Day is observed on 1st August, every year. It provides an opportunity for the public health community to raise awareness about lung cancer and offer solutions to prevent it, ensure its early detection, and show a path for recovery.

Lung Cancer—Present Situation

Lung cancer today is one of the most common cancers worldwide. It claims more lives in a year than breast, colon, and prostate cancers combined. According to the World Health Organization, lung cancer accounts for around one in five deaths caused due to cancer globally. Lung cancer cases diagnosed in 2012 were 1.8 million, and the count was 2.09 million for 2018. Moreover, lung cancer claimed 1.76 million lives in 2018 alone.

Out of all the cancers cases, lung cancer accounts for 12.8%. Out of all the mortalities due to cancer, lung cancer accounts for 17.8%.

World Conference on Lung Cancer

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer hosts World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC). It is the world’s largest conference dedicated to lung cancer. More than 7000 delegates from over 100 countries discuss the latest developments in the field of thoracic malignancy. Attendees include surgeons, radiation oncologists, medical oncologists, pathologists, epidemiologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, basic research scientists, nurses, etc.

Spreading Awareness

IASCL members must help communicate the vast threat of lung cancer around the world. The public and media need to understand that new research, diagnosis, and treatments in the last decade have brought new hope to lung cancer patients.

To spread the message of lung cancer, the IASLC has created a series of fact sheets in different languages focusing on different regions around the world. One can read that and inform their friends and family on the disease.

Lung Cancer Reasons

What was a rare disease in the early 20th century, the incidence of lung cancer gradually increased with increased smoking to become the most common cancer disease in the world.

Tobacco products, industrial products like uranium, asbestos, radiation, etc., air pollution, and nutritional deficiencies are the factors that play a role in cancer development. Recent studies demonstrate that long-term respiration of carcinogenic materials is one critical factor increasing the risk of lung cancer.

The age at which one starts to smoke, the period of smoking, type of tobacco and cigarette, and the number of cigarettes smoked influence the development of lung cancer risk.

Some facts on how smoking causes lung cancer:

  • Smoking is responsible for developing lung cancer by 94%
  • The risk of lung cancer is 24 to 36 times higher in smokers than in people who do not smokers
  • The risk of lung cancer is 3.5% in passive smoking


Knowing key symptoms and screening options is important for early detection and treatment of lung cancer.

Below are the symptoms of lung cancer:

  • Change in mucus
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest or back pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing, etc.

Tests used to diagnose lung cancer include the following:

  • Chest x-rays
  • Bronchoscopy and needle biopsies
  • CT and PET scans, etc.

If someone is currently or was a smoker over the age of 55, one may need a low-dose CT scan screening to detect lung cancer in its earliest stages.


Lung cancer is a preventable disease. The earlier it is detected, the better is the chance to survive it. Knowing statistics, reasons, and symptoms will help one minimize the possibility of developing lung cancer.



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