Cervical cancer mortality statistics
The cervical cancer mortality statistics that are presented here include breakdowns by age, and trends by age at death and over time.
The latest key messages and statistics for cervical cancer can be found in the Key Facts.
The latest mortality statistics available for cervical cancer in the UK are 2010. Please note that data in this section are for 2008 and that 2010 data are coming soon. Find out why more up to date statistics are not yet available.
Cervical cancer mortality rates in 2008 (2.4 per 100,000 females) are nearly 70% lower than they were 30 years earlier (7.1 per 100,000 females in 1979)( Figure 2.2).
A more detailed look at the cervical cancer age-specific trends over a longer time period shows a more complex pattern (see Figure 2.3).
The differing cervical cancer mortality trends by age can be explained by birth cohort analysis rather than analysis by year of death. A birth cohort effect is evident when a cohort experiences different disease patterns compared to people born immediately earlier or later than the cohort.
For example, for women born at the end of the nineteenth century and around 1920 cervical cancer mortality was higher throughout their lives than for previous and subsequent birth cohorts. These two cohorts of women (with increased risk) would have become sexually active around the times of World War I and World War II.
For birth cohorts after the mid 1920s until the mid 1940s the cervical cancer death rates are lower. The increased risk in women born after the mid 1940s is consistent with the changing sexual behaviour since the 1960s. In the second half of the twentieth century the death rate from cervical cancer for women aged 55-64 dropped by nearly 80% from 30.0 per 100,000 in 1950-52 to 6.2 per 100,000 in 1998-2000 (see Table 2.2).
For all age groups some of this fall in cervical cancer mortality is due to increased screening activity. A combined European study of cervix and corpus uteri cancer mortality found that the decline seen in the UK is common to most western European countries. This was also believed to be partly the effect of screening programmes. However, in Spain the mortality of cervical cancer in young women appears to be increasing.The authors believe this is due to a cohort effect and that the trend will not reverse until more women at risk participate in the country’s screening programmes.
Another study found that there had been a rise in cervical cancer mortality for women aged 20-44 in Ireland since the early 1980s.There had also been some increases in mortality in some of the eastern European countries notably Romania and Bulgaria. 5
Worldwide there are more than 273,000 deaths from cervical cancer each year and it accounts for 9% of female cancer deaths. Mortality rates vary seventeen fold between the different regions of the world 6.
Cervical cancer contributes over 2.7 million years of life lost among women between the ages of 25 and 64 worldwide, some 2.4 million of which occur in developing areas and only 0.3 million in developed countries 6.
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- Office for National Statistics. Mortality Statistics, England and Wales, 2008. Accessed 2010
- Scottish Health Statistics 2008 ISD Scotland Accessed 2010
- Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit. Cancer Mortality in Wales 2008. Accessed 2010
- Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Cancer Mortality in Northern Ireland, 2008. Accessed 2010
- Levi, F.,Lucchini, F.,Negri, E., et al Cervical cancer mortality in young women in Europe: patterns and trends European J of Cancer 2000; 36(17):2266-2271.
- Yang, B.H., et al., . Cervical cancer as a priority for prevention in different world regions: an evaluation using years of life lost. Int J Cancer, 2004. 109(3): p. 418-24