General Information About Lung Cancer
Key Points for This Section
Lung cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the lung.
The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped breathing organs inside the chest. The lungs bring oxygen into the body when breathing in and send carbon dioxide out of the body when breathing out. Each lung has sections called lobes. The left lung has two lobes. The right lung, which is slightly larger, has three. A thin membrane called the pleura surrounds the lungs. Two tubes called bronchi lead from the trachea (windpipe) to the right and left lungs. The bronchi are sometimes involved in lung cancer. Small tubes called bronchioles and tiny air sacs called alveoli make up the inside of the lungs.
See the following PDQ summaries for more information about lung cancer:
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States.
Lung cancer is the third most common type of non-skin cancer in the United States. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in men and in women.