More Than Half of Americans Are Unaware Lung Cancer is the Leading Cause of Cancer Deaths (i)

New Survey Exposes Myths and Misperceptions About the Deadliest Form of Cancer

NEW YORK, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Each year, lung cancer claims more than 160,000 lives (ii) in the United States. This is greater mortality than all breast, colon and prostate deaths combined (iii). Yet, lung cancer receives nine-times less funding than breast cancer. For every $9 spent on breast cancer research, only $1 is spent on research for lung cancer in the U.S. (iv) Despite the fact that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, survey results announced today by the Lung Cancer Research Foundation (LCRF) reveal that 60% of the American population are unaware that lung cancer is the deadliest form of cancer.

While lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer fatalities, approximately a quarter of survey respondents (23%) believe that breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths, closely followed by colon cancer (15%).  

"Despite the number of lives lost to lung cancer, this disease only receives about five percent of the research funding assigned by the National Cancer Institute," said Laurie Carson, Founder and President of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation. "The Lung Cancer Research Foundation is committed to supporting the research that will lead to a cure but support from the public is imperative."

One challenge in raising funds for lung cancer research is that many people (45%) believe that the disease is something that people "bring on themselves" from smoking or having smoked in the past.  While having a smoking history is a risk factor for lung cancer, there are many other risk factors including exposure to industrial products, radon exposure and genetics.  In fact, approximately 15 percent of newly diagnosed cases of lung cancer occur in people who have never smoked (v).

Education is critical to overcoming the stigma and increasing support.  When people are educated about the varied risks for lung cancer as well as the imbalance in funding, many are inspired to take action. In fact, 62 percent of those surveyed would likely donate time, money or energy to lung cancer research. Of those respondents, 77 percent believed there is no cure in sight and a donation might help to find one.  Others are committed for personal reasons as they know someone who has or had lung cancer (68%). "This survey showed that when prompted, many people are interested in contributing to the fight against this leading cause of cancer," said Carson. "We know that once educated about the truths surrounding lung cancer, many are inspired to help spread correct information about the disease and are motivated to take action."

This survey was conducted by Kelton Research and supported by the Lung Cancer Research Foundation.  The survey was conducted among 1,000 nationally representative American adults ages 18 and older via telephone. To learn more about LCRF, or to make a donation, please visit

About The Lung Cancer Research Foundation:

The Lung Cancer Research Foundation was founded in 2005 by Laurie Carson after years of fundraising on behalf of lung cancer patients at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The LCRF seeks to help advance lung cancer research and to help those whose lives have been affected by this disease. The mission of LCRF is to support national research studies and activities focused on better treatments, screening, and prevention of lung cancer. For more information about the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, visit:  

About Kelton Research:

Kelton Research is a market research and strategy consultancy that works with some of the world's largest and most recognizable brands to help them better understand and connect with consumers. Kelton provides highly customized qualitative and quantitative research for a wide variety of companies across multiple sectors including many in the Fortune 500. For more information, please see

(i) Lung Cancer Research Foundation. Lung cancer facts. Retrieved June 7 2011
(ii) Center for Disease Control. Lung Cancer Statistics. Retrieved July 27 2011
(iii) National Cancer Institute. Cancer Statistics and Facts. Retrieved Aug 2 2011
(iv) National Cancer Institute. SEER Statistics and Facts. Retrieved June 7 2011
(v) Lung Cancer Research Foundation. Lung cancer facts. Retrieved June 7 2011

News Media Contacts:
Raquel Erwin
Zeno Group on behalf of the Lung Cancer Research Foundation
(212) 299-8951 or [email protected]

SOURCE Lung Cancer Research Foundation