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Brain cancer survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for brain cancer by age and trends over time are presented here.

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

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

41% of men survive brain cancer for at least one year, and this is predicted to fall to 18% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with brain cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Table 3.1).1 39% of women survive brain cancer for one year or more, and 20% are predicted to survive for at least five years.

Table 3.1: Brain Cancer (C71), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

1-Year Survival (%) 5-Year Survival (%) 10-Year Survival (%)
Men Net Survival 41.0 17.8 12.8
95% LCL 40.7 16.3 9.9
95% UCL 41.4 19.4 16.1
Women Net Survival 38.8 19.5 14.4
95% LCL 38.3 17.9 11.5
95% UCL 39.2 21.1 17.7
Adults Net Survival 40.1 18.5 13.5
95% LCL 39.8 17.4 11.4
95% UCL 40.4 19.6 15.8

Download this table XLS (32KB) PPT (138KB) PDF (26KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits
Five- and ten-year survival is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Brain cancer survival gradually continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 13% of men and 14% of women are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with brain cancer during 2010-2011 in England and Wales (Figure 3.1).1 Out of 20 common cancers in England and Wales, ten-year survival for brain cancer ranks 4th lowest overall.

Figure 3.1: Brain Cancer (C71), Net Survival up to Ten Years after Diagnosis, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 2010-2011

surv_curve_brain.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (72KB)

Survival for brain cancer is reported in Scotland and Northern Ireland,2,3 though it is difficult to make survival comparisons between countries due to different methodologies and criteria for including patients in analyses.

section reviewed 02/12/14
section updated 02/12/14

 

By age

Five-year survival for brain cancer is highest in the youngest men and women and decreases with increasing age. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 60% in 15-39 year-olds to 1% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with brain cancer in England during 2007-2011 (Figure 3.2).4 In women, five-year survival ranges from 60% to 1% in the same age groups.

Figure 3.2: Brain Cancer (C71), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2007-2011

surv_5yr_age_brain.swf

Download this chart XLS (42KB) PPT (123KB) PDF (39KB)

section reviewed 02/12/14
section updated 02/12/14

 

Trends over time

As with most cancers, survival for brain cancer is improving. One-year age-standardised net survival for brain cancer in men has increased from 18% during 1971-1972 to 41% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 23 percentage points (Figure 3.3).1 In women, one-year survival has increased from 18% to 39% over the same time period (a difference of 21 percentage points).

Figure 3.3: Brain Cancer (C71), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_1yr_brain.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (54KB)

Five- and ten-year survival has increased by a lesser amount than one-year survival since the early 1970s. Five-year age-standardised net survival for brain cancer in men has increased from 7% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 18% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 11 percentage points (Figure 3.4).1 In women, five-year survival has increased from 8% to 20% over the same time period (a difference of 11 percentage points).

Figure 3.4: Brain Cancer (C71), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_5yr_brain.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (54KB)

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model

Ten-year age-standardised net survival for brain cancer in men has increased from 5% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 13% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales an absolute survival difference of 8 percentage points (Figure 3.5).1 In women, ten-year survival has increased from 6% to 14% over the same time period (a difference of 8 percentage points). Overall, around 1 in 7 people diagnosed with brain cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.
 

Figure 3.5: Brain Cancer (C71), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

surv_10yr_brain.swf

Download this chart XLS (45KB) PPT (126KB) PDF (53KB)

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model.

section reviewed 02/12/14
section updated 02/12/14

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References for brain and other central nervous system tumours survival

  1. Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Personal communication, 2014.
  2. ISD Scotland. Trends in Cancer Survival 1983-2007.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Incidence & Survival 1993-2012.
  4. Office for National Statistics. Statistical Bulletin: Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2007-2011 and followed up to 2012. Newport: ONS; 2013.
Updated: 2 December 2014