Lung cancer is one of the most common cancers and has became a predominant cause of cancer-related death throughout the world. The k-ras codon 12 mutation, which is the most common lung cancer mutation, is found in 15 to 30% of all lung cancers. Furthermore, the p53 gene has a very important role in the biological properties of tumor cells, and it is mutated in about 50% of non-small cell lung cancers. Residual tumor cells remain in surgical margins diagnosed as tumor free by histopathological techniques, and they can play a role in forming any local recurrence. Molecular methods may be exploited that are sensitive enough to detect small numbers of tumor cells. In the present study, we examined p53 gene mutations and k-ras codon 12 mutations from the tumor samples and surgical margins of 34 non-small-cell lung cancer patients. P53 gene mutations were analyzed by single strand conformational polymorphism analysis, heterodublex analysis and DNA sequencing. K-ras codon 12 mutations were analyzed by the mutagenic PCR-restricted fragment length polymorphism method. A p53 mutation was detected only in primary tumors of 3 out of 34 patients (8.82%). These mutations were clustered in exon 5. Moreover, a k-ras codon 12 mutation was detected in both the primary tumor and the surgical margin tissues of 2 out of 34 patients (5.88%). The detected mutation rate was low, in the range given in the literature. We think that different mechanisms related to other genes and individual genetic differences might play a role in cancer formation in our study group. We believe that molecular studies are necessary to identify biomarkers and to determine genetic alterations in histopathologically normal surgical margins.