Lung cancer is one of the most common malignancies in the world and one of the leading causes of death from cancer. In the search for molecules that may be involved in lung tumor induction and progression, the receptor of advanced glycation end products (RAGE) comes across as a critical regulator of lung physiology. RAGE is a multiligand receptor that presents a differential expression pattern in lung epithelial cells compared to other cell types being gradually increased from fetal to birth and adult life. Under stress conditions, RAGE expression and activation are rapidly elevated resulting in chronic inflammation, which, in turn, in many instances, promotes epithelial cell malignant transformation. RAGE overexpression in normal lung alveolar type I epithelial cells is followed by rapid downregulation upon malignant transformation, being associated with increased aggressiveness. This is a striking paradox, since in every other cell type the pattern of RAGE expression follows the opposite direction, suggesting the involvement of RAGE in the well-functioning of lung cells. Additionally, RAGE has been attributed with the role of adhesion molecule, since it can stabilize mature alveolar epithelial cells to their substrate (basal lamina) by interacting electrostatically with other molecules. However, the reduction of RAGE observed in lung tumorigenesis interrupts cell-to-cell and cell-to-substrate communication, which is a critical step for cancer cell induction, progression and migration. This review addresses the differential properties of RAGE in lung physiology and carcinogenesis, providing evidence of therapeutic possibilities.