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Cancer mortality projections for all cancers combined

Projected trends of mortality for all cancers combined are presented here using the same methodology as for the incidence projections.1

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data.

About the cancer mortality projections project

Projected trends of mortality for all cancers combined are presented here using the same methodology proposed by a team at the Wolfson Institute.1

Following the cancer incidence projections project undertaken by a team at the Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine, Queen Mary University of London, as part of a Cancer Research UK programme grant, the team provided cancer mortality projections using the same methodology.1 The projections of mortality data from 2011 to 2030 were based on the actual mortality data for 1971-2010 and were kindly provided on request by the Wolfson Institute.2

section reviewed 23/04/13
section updated 23/04/13

Projections for all cancers combined

European age-standardised mortality rates were relatively stable between the early 1970s and the early 1990s at around 220 people per 100,000, then mortality rates started to decline in the early 1990s from around 218 people per 100,000 in 1992 to around 170 people per 100,000 in 2010. 

The current projections suggest that this decline in mortality rates will continue and in 2030 mortality rates are expected to be at around 142 per 100,000 (Figure 5.1).

Figure 5.1: All Malignant Neoplasms (C00-C97), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Persons, UK, 1971-2030


However, due to the growing population, the number of people dying from cancer is expected to increase, because of the aging and expanding population, from 157,000 deaths in 2010 to 193,000 deaths in 2030 (Table 5.1).

Table 5.1: All Malignant Neoplasms (C00-C97), Number of Deaths and European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK, 1975-2030

  Number of Deaths Age Standardised Rate per 100,000
Data Type Year Male Female Persons Male Female Persons
Actual Data* 1975 74,010 63,813 137,823 279.3 174.9 214.9
1980 77,379 68,172 145,551 279.9 179.6 217.8
1985 82,354 74,702 157,056 284.7 186.9 223.6
1990 83,897 76,874 160,771 277.1 184.5 219.8
1995 81,922 75,213 157,135 257.1 173.7 206.2
2000 77,671 72,895 150,566 229.7 162.0 189.0
2005 79,667 73,829 153,496 216.5 155.5 180.4
2010 82,481 74,794 157,275 201.6 146.8 170.0
Projected Data 2015 86,858 75,820 162,679 188.9 139.6 161.3
2020 93,366 78,619 171,985 178.9 132.8 153.5
2025 100,592 82,281 182,873 170.9 127.1 147.0
2030 107,288 85,992 193,280 164.4 122.3 141.5


The decrease in the mortality rates from the early 1990s to the present day has been due a combination of factors; most importantly, however, are cancer prevention strategies such as tobacco control, earlier detection through screening, and improved management and treatments.

section reviewed 25/09/12
section updated 25/09/12

Projections for all cancers combined by sex

The age-standardised rates for men are currently more than a third (37%) higher than in women. This difference is expected to remain similar, with both predicted to decrease by around 17% in the 20 years from 2010 to 2030. For males, the expected fall is from around 202 to around 164 men per 100,000 and for females, the rates are expected to decrease from 147 to 122 women per 100,000 (Figure 5.1).

In contrast, there are currently around 10% more cancer deaths in males than females (Table 5.1). The projected effect of this increase in cancer deaths in males is that there will be approximately 25% more deaths in males than females in 2030. The number of cancer deaths in men is expected to rise by more than 30% to over 107,000 in 2030, whereas cancer deaths among women are forecast to increase by 15% from around 75,000 in 2010 to nearly 86,000 in 2030.

section reviewed 25/09/12
section updated 25/09/12


Projected trends of mortality for all cancers combined shown here have been created using the same methodology as for the incidence projections.1 The all cancers projection has been calculated by taking the individual projections for 21 sites in males and 23 in females and combining these projections to create an all cancers (C00-C97 including C44) projection.2

The only data used to create these projections are cancer mortality and population data at the UK level. The mortality projections do not take into account either incidence or survival data directly. However, the past trends for both these measures have influenced the past and current mortality rates, due to prevention measures or increases in incidence, or improvements in treatments leading to better survival, for example, and so they have had an effect on the mortality projections indirectly.

section reviewed 25/09/12
section updated 25/09/12

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References for mortality projections

  1. Mistry M, Parkin D, Ahmad A, et al. Cancer incidence in the UK: Projections to the year 2030. Br J Cancer 2011;105:1795–1803.
  2. Sasieni P, et al. Cancer mortality projections in the UK to 2030 (unpublished). Analyses undertaken and data supplied upon request; September 2012.
Updated: 10 September 2012