Lung cancer continues to exact a huge toll on the health status of Americans and people worldwide. In the USA, the number of new lung cancer cases diagnosed per year has reached epidemic proportions. In 2012 an estimated 226,160 new cases of lung cancer were diagnosed, representing approximately 14 % of the 1,638,910 new cases of all cancers diagnosed in 2012. While prostate cancer and breast cancer lead new cancer cases in American men and women respectively, lung cancer is a more deadly cancer and it remains the leading cause of cancer-related death for both men and women. While once thought to be mainly a man’s disease, lung cancer is now represented in a nearly equal fashion between the sexes; in the USA, women diagnosed with lung cancer represented 48 % all new lung cancer cases in 2012. Globally, lung cancer causes more than one million cancer deaths each year and is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality (Siegel et al., CA Cancer J Clin 62:10–29, 2012).
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