How frequently is tobacco smoking the cause of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jul 15, 2021
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
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Answer

Unlike many other malignancies, whose causes are largely unknown, lung cancer is known to be caused by tobacco smoking in as many as 90% of patients. However, two studies have reported rising NSCLC rates in persons who have never smoked: In a United States study, rates increased from 8.9% in 1990–1995 to 19.5% in 2011–2013, while a study from the United Kingdom reported an increase from 13% to 28% during a 6-year period. [12]


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