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Lung Cancer Risk Calculator

Table of contents

What percentage of smokers get lung cancer?How does the lung cancer risk calculator work?Research on chances of getting lung cancer after quitting smoking

Are you a smoker? Or maybe you've smoked (a bit) before? Do you wonder what your chances are of getting lung cancer after you quit smoking?

The lung cancer risk calculator will help you estimate your chance of getting lung cancer. The formula is based on the scientific research of M. Markaki and her team described in 2018 in the article A Validated Clinical Risk Prediction Model for Lung Cancer in Smokers of All Ages and Exposure Types: A HUNT Study.

If the risk of lung cancer does not bother you, you can always check out the advantages of quitting smoking in our smoking recovery calculator. It is beneficial for your health and your savings. See our quit smoking and save calculator to learn more. If that still does not convince you, we don't know what else will!

We try our best to make our Omni Calculators as precise and reliable as possible. However, this tool can never replace a professional doctor's assessment. If any health condition bothers you, consult a physician.

What percentage of smokers get lung cancer?

Obviously, if you have been smoking, the likelihood of lung cancer is higher. But what are the other important elements? The authors of the study found that there are seven significant risk factors:

  • Age;
  • Pack-years (see pack year calculator);
  • Smoking intensity;
  • Years since smoking cessation;
  • Body mass index (see BMI calculator);
  • Daily cough; and
  • Hours of daily indoor exposure to smoke.

The answer to the question of how many smokers get lung cancer is very complicated, as it depends on so many factors.

How does the lung cancer risk calculator work?

Our calculator uses the M. Markaki formulas:

Risk of developing lung cancer in 6 years:

Risk_6_years = 1.18203062 + 0.3157 × sex - 1.985 × [(age/100)⁻¹] + 1.120 × [log⁡(pack_years)] - 0.040 × (cig_per_day) - 0.2402 × [log(quit_years)] - 1.7024 × [log(BMI)] + 0.0807 × [log⁡(exposure)] + 0.4921 × (cough)

Risk of developing lung cancer in 16 years:

Risk_16_years = 0.1205819 × sex - 2.0020557 × [(age/100)⁻¹] + 1.1630181 × [log⁡(pack_years)] - 0.0295406 × (cig_per_day) - 0.2407998 × [log(quit_years)] - 1.2462656 × [log(BMI)] + 0.1663201 × [log⁡(exposure)] + 0.4059355 × (cough)


  • sex – Sex-dependent coefficient: the value is equal to 1 for males and 0 for females;
  • age between 21 and 86;
  • cig_per_day – cigarettes smoked per day, a value between 2 and 35;
  • pack_years – Equals (cig_per_day/20) × smoking years;
  • quit_years – Years since quitting;
  • BMI – Equals weight(kg) / (height(m)²);
  • exposure – Hours per day spent in a smoke-filled room, a value between 0 and 24; and
  • cough – Answer to the question, Do you cough daily during periods of the year? (yes = 1, no = 0).

Looks complicated? Use our calculator. It will estimate the lung cancer risk for you.

Research on chances of getting lung cancer after quitting smoking

The lung cancer risk calculator is based on a population study of over 65,000 people from Norway. The researchers checked 36 risk predictors and chose the seven most significant to build a model.

Afterward, the model was validated on another 45,000-person dataset, and it confirmed the developed formulas. The calculator may be used for screening purposes – the authors of the article proved the model's effectiveness in selecting high-risk individuals.

So now, even from your home, you can estimate if you should consider CT screening and ask your doctor about it. The authors set risk thresholds at 1.75% (16 years) and 0.64% (6 years), so crossing those values may mean that you are no longer in a low-risk group.

Remember that even the best health calculator cannot substitute medical examination, advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Be aware that this prediction is made on the basis of average risk for a group of people. It is possible that high-risk people won't develop lung cancer and some with a very low-risk will. Don't forget that there are other risk factors, such as air pollution in your place of living and genetic factors. In the presented model, age is a very significant factor, so for young and middle-aged people – even smoking a lot – the risk obtained may be really low.

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