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Cervical cancer mortality statistics

Mortality statistics for cervical cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by geography. 

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data

By country in the UK

Cervical cancer is the 17th most common cause of cancer death among women in the UK (2012), accounting for 1% of all female deaths from cancer.

In 2012, there were 919 deaths from cervical cancer in the UK (Table 2.1).1-3 The crude mortality rate shows that there are 3 cervical cancer deaths for every 100,000 females in the UK.

The European age-standardised mortality rate (AS rate) is significantly higher in Scotland compared with England (Table 2.1).1-3 The rates do not differ significantly between the other constituent countries of the UK.

Table 2.1: Cervical Cancer (C53), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2012

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Deaths 742 43 112 22 919
Crude Rate 2.7 2.7 4.1 2.4 2.8
AS Rate 2.1 2.1 3.2 2.2 2.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 2.0 1.4 2.6 1.3 2.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 2.3 2.7 3.8 3.1 2.4

Download this table XLS (32KB) PPT (132KB) PDF (23KB)

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits around the AS Rate

Analysis of cervical cancer mortality rates throughout the UK reports some variation between health boundaries,with the highest rates being in parts of the north and the lowest rates in parts of the south.4,5

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14

 

By age

Cervical cancer mortality is related to age, but as with incidence, the association with age is different to most cancer types. In the UK between 2010-2012, an average of 30% of cervical cancer deaths were in women aged 75 years and over (Figure 2.1).1-3

Age-specific mortality rates rise gradually from around age 20-24, and then more sharply from age 65-69, with the highest rates in the 85+ age group(Figure 2.1).1-3

Figure 2.1: Cervical Cancer (C54), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates, Females, UK, 2010-2012

deaths_crude_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB) PPT (135KB) PDF (64KB)

More than half (52%) of cervical cancer deaths occur in those aged 25-64 (Figure 2.1).1-3 Women in this age group are currently offered cervical screening in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. In Scotland, women are invited for screening between the ages of 20 and 60 years, although it is planned that this will also change to 25-64.6

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14

 

Trends over time

Cervical cancer mortality rates have decreased overall in the UK since  the early 1970s (Figure 2.2).1-3 European AS mortality rates decreased by 71% between 1971-1973 and 2010-2012. Mortality rates fell steadily throughout the 1970s and 1980s (dropping by 22% between 1971-1973 and 1987-1989), and then, like incidence rates, more rapidly after improvements to the national screening programme in the late 1980s (decreasing by 43% between 1987-1989 and 1997-1999). It is estimated that cervical screening prevents around 5,000 deaths each year in the UK.8 Over the last decade (between 2001-2003 and 2010-2012), European AS mortality rates have decreased by 21%.

Over the last decade (between 2001-2003 and 2010-2012), European AS mortality rates have decreased by 21%.

Figure 2.2: Cervical Cancer (C54), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Females, UK, 1971-2012

mort_asr_uk_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (48KB) PPT (127KB) PDF (42KB)

Cervical cancer mortality rates have decreased overall for most of the  broad age groups in the UK since the early 1970s, but have remained stable in  women aged under 35 (Figure 2.3).1-3 The largest decrease has been in women aged between 50 and 64, with European AS mortality rates decreasing by 81% between 1971-1973 and 2010-2012. Rates in 65-79 year-olds remained stable between the early 1970s and early 1980s, but have since decreased, and rates for women aged 25-34 and 35-49 increased between the mid-1970s and mid-1980s, and have also since decreased. These trends are thought to be associated with a rise in human papilloma virus (HPV) prevalence among women following the 1960s sexual revolution.7,8

Figure 2.3: Cervical Cancer (C54), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1971-2012

mort_asr_age_cervix.swf

Download this chart XLS (66KB) PPT (140KB) PDF (46KB)

section reviewed 08/09/14
section updated 08/09/14

 

In Europe and worldwide

Cervical cancer is the 7th most common cause of cancer death in Europe for females, and the 15th most common cause of cancer death overall, with around 24,400 deaths from cervical cancer in 2012 (3% of female deaths and 1% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised mortality rates for cervical cancer are in Romania; the lowest rates are in Iceland. UK cervical cancer mortality rates are estimated to be the 9th lowest in Europe.11 These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.12

Cervical cancer is the 4th most common cause of cancer death worldwide for females, and the 9th most common cause of cancer death overall, with more than 265,000 deaths from cervical cancer in 2012 (7% of female deaths and 3% of the total). Cervical cancer mortality rates are highest in Eastern Africa and lowest in Australia/New Zealand. This partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.11

Use our interactive map to explore the data for cervical cancer.

section reviewed 22/05/14
section updated 22/05/14

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References for cervical cancer mortality

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, January 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-27475.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, March 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/general/ref-tables/index.html.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, December 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp22.htm.
  4. NCIN. Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Cancer Network, UK, 2005. London: NCIN; 2008.
  5. NCIN. Cancer e-Atlas. European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK (England: former Primary Care Trusts; Wales; Scotland: NHS Health Boards; Northern Ireland: Health and Social Care Trusts), 2009-2011.
  6. UK National Screening Committee. UK Screening Portal: Cervical screening across the UK. Accessed December 2013.
  7. Quinn M, Babb P, Brock A, et al. Cancer Trends in England & Wales 1950-1999. London: Office for National Statistics; 2001.
  8. Peto J, Gilham C, Fletcher O, et al. The cervical cancer epidemic that screening has prevented in the UK. Lancet 2004;364(9430):249-56.
  9. 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.
  10. Yang BH, Bray FI, Parkin DM, et al. Cervical cancer as a priority for prevention in different world regions: an evaluation using years of life lost. Cervical cancer as a priority for prevention in different world regions: an evaluation using years of life lost.
  11. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  12. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al. Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403.
Updated: 8 September 2014