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Childhood cancer statistics

Childhood cancer statistics

  • An average of 1,574 children per year in the UK were diagnosed with cancer in 2009-2011.
  • An average of 252 children per year in the UK died from cancer in 2009-2011.
  • 82% of children in Great Britain survived their childhood cancer for five years or more in 2006-2010.

Stats, info and publications

See our Key Stats for a summary of the main stats and information.

See in-depth statistics for Incidence, Mortality, Survival, Long-term follow up, Risk factors and Diagnosis and treatment

See our childhood infographic poster for a visual version of some of this data.

Download our publications about these statistics:


The latest available statistics for childhood cancer in the UK are; incidence 2009-2011, mortality 2009-2011, and survival 2006-2010. Find out why these are the latest statistics available

Statistics for specific cancer types are also available for earlier time periods in Great Britain.

The ICD codes for all childhood cancers incidence and survival are ICD-10 C00-C97 excluding C44 (all malignant neoplasms excluding non-melanoma skin cancer), and ICD-10 D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5 (all benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system [CNS] and intracranial tumours).

The ICD codes for all childhood cancers mortality are ICD-10 C00-C97 (all malignant tumours), and ICD-10 D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5 (all benign, uncertain and unknown brain, other central nervous system [CNS] and intracranial tumours).

'Childhood' refers to those children aged 0 to 14, inclusively.

Cancer is rare in children compared with the adult population and for this reason incidence and mortality rates are presented per million rather than per 100,000 population. The rarity of childhood cancer also means that there is much international collaboration for childhood cancer research, so World (rather than European) age-standardised rates (AS rates) are presented to allow comparisons with international publications.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all children (0-14) diagnosed, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. Please see our CancerHelp UK pages for patient information. 

Time periods for the follow-up statistics are detailed within the content.

Specific questions and answers about some of Cancer Research UK's statistics and information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of the statistics are also available.


We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.

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Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team
Updated: 20 January 2015