Backgrounds: Many proved alterations in genoms of cells are said to be related to tumorigenesis. Apoptosis - a “programmed” death of cell, which has different morphology from necrosis, is one of the control mechanisms of cell division and participates in tumorigenesis. Methods and material: The authors present their results of analysis of the relation between genetic polymorphism of the p53 gene and the level of apopotosis in patients with confi rmed malignant lung disease. Comparison of genetic polymorphism of the p53 gene in patients with the healthy group showed that allocation of BstUI A2 and MspI A1 alleles was signifi cantly related to lung cancer. The apoptosis of peripheral lymphocytes was signifi cantly increased in lung cancer patients. The highest increase of apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) group was found in adenocarcinomas. The level of apoptosis was also studied in correlation to polymorphism of the p53 gen. Substantially higher percentage of apoptotic cells was detected in BstUI 2/2 and MspI 2/2 homozygotes. In response to operation a distinctive increase of apoptosis in the fi rst and second postoperative day was recorded. Therefore a lymphocyte count in peripheral blood was also monitored. The lymphocyte count in patients that underwent the operation proved a decrease in absolute and relative values. Conclusion: Observation of known genetic polymorphisms indicates the risk of malignant disease. Together with the analysis of level of apoptosis it may add to complexity of the nature of malignant disease or serve as determinants of its prognosis.