Lung cancer statistics

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide

Lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer in men and the third most commonly occurring cancer in women. There were 2 million new cases in 2018. The top 25 countries with the highest incidence of lung cancer in 2018 are given in the tables below.

The Continuous Update Project Panel judged there was strong evidence that drinking water containing arsenic and taking high-dose beta-carotene supplements increase the risk of lung cancer. There is some evidence that consuming red meat, processed meat and alcoholic drinks might increase the risk of lung cancer. There is some evidence that the risk of lung cancer might be decreased by being physically active, consuming fruit and vegetables (current smokers), consuming foods containing retinol, beta-carotene or carotenoids, consuming foods containing vitamin C (current smokers), and consuming foods containing isoflavones (people who have never smoked).

> Read about all the evidence in our Third Expert Report.

Age-standardised rates are used in the tables. This is a summary measure of the rate of disease that a population would have if it had a standard age structure. Standardisation is necessary when comparing populations that differ with respect to age because age has a powerful influence on the risk of dying from cancer.

Lung cancer rates: both sexes

Hungary had the highest rate of lung cancer in 2018, followed by Serbia.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Hungary56.7
2Serbia49.8
3New Caledonia (France)42.3
4Greece40.5
5French Polynesia39.8
6Montenegro39.7
7Belgium39.0
8Guam37.9
9Turkey36.9
10Denmark36.6
11Poland36.5
12North Korea36.2
13=Bosnia & Herzegovina36.1
13=France (metropolitan)36.1
15Samoa35.4
16=China35.1
16=US35.1
18Macedonia34.1
19=Germany33.7
19=Ireland33.7
21Netherlands33.3
22Slovenia32.9
23Croatia32.5
24UK32.5
25Slovakia31.2

Lung cancer rates in men

Hungary had the highest rate of lung cancer in men 2018, followed by Serbia.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Hungary77.4
2Serbia71.6
3Turkey70.6
4Greece67.8
5Montenegro62.9
6Bosnia & Herzegovina62.4
7New Caledonia (France)59.9
8Armenia58.5
9=French Polynesia55.7
9=Macedonia55.7
11Belarus54.5
12Slovakia54.3
13Guam53.7
14Poland52.7
15Lithuania52.6
16Belgium52.2
17Latvia51.8
18Estonia51.4
19France (metropolitan)51.3
20Croatia50.9
21Romania50.7
22Moldova50.5
23Bulgaria50.1
24Russia48.2
25North Korea48.1

Lung cancer rates in women

Hungary had the highest rate of lung cancer in 2018, followed by Denmark.

RankCountryAge-standardised rate per 100,000
1Hungary41.4
2Denmark36.3
3Netherlands32.7
4Iceland32.5
5Serbia30.9
6US30.8
7UK30.2
8Canada29.3
9=Ireland29.2
9=Norway29.2
11Belgium28.1
12Samoa28.0
13=Germany27.4
13=North Korea27.4
15Brunei26.6
16New Zealand26.4
17New Caledonia (France)26.0
18Poland24.5
19Guam24.3
20Cuba24.1
21Australia23.6
22French Polynesia23.4
23Austria23.3
24China22.8
25France (metropolitan)22.5
The data quoted on these webpages come from the Global Cancer Observatory, owned by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), and are used with permission. The incidence statistics for 2018 are projections calculated from cancer registry data collected before 2018. Full information on the methods used by IARC is available here.
Source: Bray F, Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Siegel RL, Torre LA, Jemal A. Global Cancer Statistics 2018: GLOBOCAN estimates of incidence and mortality worldwide for 36 cancers in 185 countries. CA Cancer J Clin, in press. The online GLOBOCAN 2018 database is accessible at http://gco.iarc.fr/, as part of IARC’s Global Cancer Observatory.