Cancer of the Lung in figures

Responsible for over 25,000 new cases each year in France, cancer of the bronchial tubes may be regarded as a major public health problem in our country. The most common cancer in humans, it represents in fact the leading cause of death by cancer in men and the third in women.


Not less than 27,000 deaths annually are attributable annually in France to lung cancer. Impressive figures, reminding that it is essential to develop means of prevention against this scourge by strengthening the fight against smoking. The France is also distinguished in no other developed in this area. Of public data on 16 September 2002 by the European society of respiratory diseases suggest that this cancer should remain the third cause of mortality in the old continent during the coming decades. Globally, this tumor also has a considerable impact (nearly one million deaths per year).

Young and old more concerned
The data on lung cancer remained far parcel in France and focused on mortality. Survey KBP (broncho-pulmonary cancer), which was realized in 2000 at the initiative of the College of pneumologists of general hospitals, offers the advantage of providing the first accurate information about the characteristics of this tumor.

Analysis of 5 667 new cases in the year 2000 in 148 services of Pneumology general hospitals, revealed that the average age of patients is 64 years old in our country. However, this tumour tends in recent years to increase among the youngest and oldest.

For example, 1.6% of patients in the survey were less than 40 years and 15% less than 50 years. Given the age of the patients, these figures are still high.As the proportion of patients over 70 years old, she is also increased to 33%. This proportion could alter the therapeutic attitudes of hospital doctors. So far, these cancers of the elderly often gave rise to less intensive treatment than that realized in younger patients, this practice may not be desirable.

In any case, surgeons and oncologists must now take more and more often in charge of broncho-pulmonary cancers in people of a very advanced age. This phenomenon requires special precautions related to the frequent presence of other diseases as well as a general health more fragile.

Most affected women
French women smoke more. Unfortunately, they pay the price. In fact, the KBP 2000 survey shows that the percentage of women affected by this cancer has increased by 30% in seven years (16% of women in 2000 against 11% in 1993).