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Epidemiology of lung cancer.

Incidence and mortality attributed to lung cancer has risen steadily since the 1930s. Efforts to improve outcomes have not only led to a greater understanding of the etiology of lung cancer, but also the histologic and molecular characteristics of individual lung tumors. This article describes this evolution by discussing the extent of the current lung cancer epidemic including contemporary incidence and mortality trends, the risk factors for development of lung cancer, and details of promising molecular targets for treatment.

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