Lung cancer

Lung cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the lung grow in an uncontrolled way. It often spreads (metastasises) to other parts of the body before it's detected in the lungs.

What is lung cancer?

There are two main types of lung cancer, which grow and spread differently; small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and nonsmall cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Lung cancer is by far the number one cause of cancer deaths in both men and women in Australia.
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Key statistics

12,741

12,741

12,741 estimated new cases of lung cancer in 2019

17% survival

17% survival

The survival rate at five years is currently 17%

15%

15%

Around 15% of lung cancers are small carcinomas

1 in 13 men

1 in 13 men

1 in 13 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer by the age of 85

1 in 21 women

1 in 21 women

1 in 21 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer by the age of 85

20%

20%

Lung cancer is only detected in its early operable stages in about 20% of patients

Lung cancer research at Garvan

Garvan’s lung cancer research program under Professor Neil Watkins is diverse, focusing on defining the genetic characteristics of lung cancer, developing biomarkers of prognosis and therapeutic responsiveness and understanding the molecular mechanisms of resistance in order to develop new treatment strategies.

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