European Scenario

Chapter 1 - Epidemiology, Pathogenesis, and Risk Factors


Source: Malvezzi M, et al. Ann Oncol 2014; Apr 23. [Epub ahead of print]

European predictions for the year 2014 in men and women, respectively, estimate over 187 000 (25% of all cases) and 84 000 lung cancer-related deaths.

Lung cancer is the primary cause of cancer-related deaths for men in Europe, being second only to breast cancer for women.

European mortality for lung cancer peaked in the late 1980s for men and began declining later, while, for women, differently to the US scenario, mortality continues to increase with a prediction of 14.1 cases/100 000 in 2014. An opposite trend has been observed for breast cancer.


Source: Ferlay J, et al. Eur J Cancer 2013;49:1374-1403

An evaluation performed in 2012 revealed that the lung cancer incidence rate for men was highest in Central and Eastern European countries and lowest in Northern Europe.


On the contrary, the incidence rate for women was highest in Northern European countries and lowest in Eastern Europe.

For both sexes combined, the lowest rates were seen in Cyprus and the highest in Hungary, with a range varying from 49 to 156 cases/100 000.


Source: Dela Cruz CS, et al. Clin Chest Med 2011;32:605-644

The lung cancer rate in underdeveloped countries is lower than in developed ones, although incidence and mortality are slowly increasing.

The World Health Organisation estimates that lung cancer deaths worldwide will continue to rise, largely as a result of an increase in global tobacco use.


Worldwide, every year, as many people die from lung cancer as the cumulative number resulting from prostate, breast, and colon cancers.

Revision Questions

  • Are there differences in lung cancer mortality rates between the USA and Europe?
  • Is lung cancer incidence homogeneous throughout Europe?
  • What is the mortality rate due to lung cancer compared with other “big killers”?

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Last update: 16 September 2014
European Scenario
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