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Lung cancer in Singapore

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How common is lung cancer in Singapore?

From 2010 to 2014, about 42 people in Singapore were diagnosed with cancer every day. Lung cancer was the second and third most common cancer among males and females respectively.

Among the main ethnicities in Singapore, lung cancer was the number one cancer among Malay males, second among Chinese males and third among Indian males. It was the third most common cancer among Chinese females, and relatively rarer among the other ethnicities: sixth among Malay females and seventh among Indian females.

Graphic of Top 3 common cancer types in Singapore by gender

Although the main cause of lung cancer is smoking, over 25% of lung cancer cases in Singapore occur in people who do not and have never smoked, and who have not been overexposed to secondhand smoke.

What is the mortality rate for people with lung cancer?

In Singapore, lung cancer has the highest mortality rate among males, and the second highest among females. According to the Singapore Cancer Registry’s latest report, lung cancer made up nearly 27% of deaths in males and 17% of deaths in females in Singapore between 2011 and 2015.

Graphic of Lung Cancer fatalities between 2011 and 2015

Worldwide, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death. More people die of lung cancer than of colon, breast and prostate cancers combined. Hence, it is important to go for regular check-ups and to consult your doctor when you have health issues to improve your chances of survival through earlier detection.

National Registry of Diseases Office: Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Registry Report Trends in Cancer Incidence in Singapore 2010–2014
Retrieved Dec 2018 from;
National Registry of Diseases Office: Singapore Cancer Registry Annual Registry Report 2015
Retrieved Dec 2018 from