Lung Cancer Awareness Month: November 2022



Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer incidence for both men and women, representing 14% of new cancer cases, across the globe (2018, Miranda-Filhom Pineros & Bray). According to the American Cancer Society, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death, making up almost 25% of all cancer deaths. Each year, more people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast, and prostate cancers combined. Although not the only contributor, tobacco use has been identified as the main cause of lung cancer with 79% of female cases and 90% of male cases attributable to tobacco use (2005, Ozlü & Bülbül). Over 1 in 4 individuals with mental health and substance use disorders (MH/SUDs) use tobacco putting them at greater risk for developing lung cancer. Mental health and substance use treatment organizations as well as public health stakeholders must be knowledgeable about the risk for lung cancer for those they serve.


According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) the most common causes of Lung Cancer are:
  1. Smoking (80% – 90% of cases)
  2. Radon poisoning
  3. Secondhand smoke exposure

According to the CDC the most common symptoms of Lung Cancer are:
  1. Prolonged coughing
  2. Chest pains
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Wheezing
  5. Coughing up blood
  6. Fatigue
  7. Unexplained weight loss


The American Lung Association provides excellent resources for Lung Cancer prevention and awareness:

For providers:

For patients:


If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with lung cancer, they can visit for mental wellbeing support during their cancer journey.




American Cancer Society, (2022). About Lung Cancer. Retrieved from: Key Statistics for Lung Cancer | American Cancer Society

American Lung Association. (2021). Lung Cancer. Retrieved from: Lung Cancer – Help for Patients, Caregivers | American Lung Association

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). What are the symptoms of lung cancer? Retrieved from: What Are the Symptoms of Lung Cancer? | CDC

Miranda-Filho A, Piñeros M, Bray F. The descriptive epidemiology of lung cancer and tobacco control: a global overview 2018. Salud Publica Mex. 2019; 61:219-229.

Ozlü T, Bülbül Y. (2005). Smoking and lung cancer. Tuberk Toraks, 53(2):200-9. PMID: 16100660.


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