Cancer Research UK on Google+ Cancer Research UK on Facebook Cancer Research UK on Twitter
 

Pancreatic cancer incidence statistics

Incidence statistics for pancreatic cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data on lifetime risk, morphology, geography and prevalence. 

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data

By country in the UK

Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK (2011), accounting for 3% of all new cases. In males, it is the 13th most common cancer (3% of the male total), and it is the 9th in females (3%).1-4

In 2011, there were 8,773 new cases of pancreatic cancer in the UK (Table 1.1): 4,328 (49%) in men and 4,445 (51%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of almost 1:1.1-4 The crude incidence rate shows that there are 14 new pancreatic cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 14 for every 100,000 females.

The European age-standardised incidence rates (AS rates) do not differ significantly for males or females between the constituent countries of the UK (Table 1.1).1-4

Table 1.1: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2011

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 3,598 257 378 95 4,328
Crude Rate 13.8 17.1 14.8 10.7 13.9
AS Rate 10.7 11.7 11.3 9.4 10.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 10.3 10.3 10.2 7.5 10.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 11.0 13.2 12.5 11.3 11.1
Female Cases 3,678 257 398 112 4,445
Crude Rate 13.6 16.5 14.7 12.1 13.8
AS Rate 8.7 9.4 9.2 8.5 8.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 8.4 8.2 8.3 6.9 8.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 8.9 10.5 10.1 10.1 9.0
Persons Cases 7,276 514 776 207 8,773
Crude Rate 13.7 16.8 14.8 11.4 13.9
AS Rate 9.6 10.4 10.1 8.9 9.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 9.4 9.5 9.4 7.7 9.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 9.8 11.3 10.8 10.1 9.9

Download this table XLS (33KB) PPT (168KB) PDF (26KB)

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

The latest analysis of pancreatic cancer incidence rates throughout the UK reports only modest variation between cancer networks.5,6

section reviewed 30/04/14
section updated 30/04/14

 

By age

Pancreatic cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older men and women. In the UK between 2009 and 2011, an average of around 47% of cases were diagnosed in men and women aged 75 and over, and 96% of cases were diagnosed in those aged 50 and over (Figure 1.1).1-4

Age-specific incidence rates rise sharply from around age 50-54, with the highest rates in the 85+ age group. Incidence rates are higher for males than for females and this gap is widest at age 45 and 49, when the male:female ratio of age-specific rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 15:10. (Figure 1:1).1-4

Figure 1.1: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, UK, 2009-2011

cases_crude_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (59KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (336KB)

section reviewed 30/04/14
section updated 30/04/14

 

Trends over time

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates have decreased for males and increased for females overall in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, though for both sexes this includes both a decrease and an increase in this period (Figure 1.2).1-3

For males, European AS incidence rates decreased by 14% between 1975-1977 and 2001-2003, and have since increased by 6% (Figure 1.2).1-3 The earlier decrease is probably linked with the decline in male smoking prevalence, while the increase in more recent years may be associated with increase prevalence of obesity.13,14

For females, rates increased by 9% between 1975-1977 and 1988-1990, then fell by 6% to 1996-1998, and have since increased by 14% (Figure 1.2).1-3 The trend probably reflects changing prevalence of pancreatic cancer risk factors including smoking and obesity.13,14

Figure 1.2: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Great Britain, 1975-2011

inc_asr_gb_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (53KB) PPT (132KB) PDF (47KB)

Pancreatic cancer incidence trends for the UK are shown in Figure 1.3.1-4 Over the last decade (between 2000-2002 and 2009-2011), the European AS incidence rates for females in the UK have increased by 11%, while rates for males have increased by 4%.

Figure 1.3: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2011

inc_asr_uk_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (50KB) PPT (131KB) PDF (40KB)

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates in males have remained stable or decreased overall across all broad age groups in Great Britain since the mid-1970s (Figure 1.4). In all age groups except 70-79 the overall trend includes a decreased followed by stability; the largest decrease was in males aged 0-49, in whom rates decreased by 25% between 1975-1977 and 2004-2006 and have since stabilised. In men aged 70-79 rates decreased by 19% between 1975-1977 and 2001-2003, and have since increased by 8%.

Figure 1.4: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Males by Age, Great Britain, 1975-2011

inc_asr_age_m_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (57KB) PPT (134KB) PDF (51KB)

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates have increased overall for females aged 60 years and over in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, though this includes an increase followed by stability (Figure 1.5).1-3 The largest increase has been in females aged 80 years and over where rates increased by 19% between 1975-1977 and 1985-1987, and have since remained stable. In women aged 70-74, rates have increased by 9% since 1988-1990. Rates in females aged under 60 have remained stable since the mid-1970s. 

Figure 1.5: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Females by Age, Great Britain, 1975-2011

inc_asr_age_f_pancreas.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB) PPT (133KB) PDF (52KB)

section reviewed 30/04/14
section updated 30/04/14

Lifetime risk

Lifetime risk is an estimation of the risk that a newborn child has of being diagnosed with cancer at some point during their life. It is a summary of risk in the population but genetic and lifestyle factors affect the risk of cancer and so the risk for every individual is different.

In 2010, in the UK, the lifetime risk of developing pancreatic cancer is 1 in 73 for men and 1 in 74 for women.7

The lifetime risk for pancreatic cancer has been calculated by the Statistical Information Team using the ‘Current Probability’ method; this is a different method used from most other cancer sites since the possibility of having more than one diagnosis of pancreatic cancer over the course of their lifetime is very low.8

section reviewed 25/04/13
section updated 25/04/13

 

Morphology

Around 95% of pancreatic tumours are adenocarcinomas, originating from the exocrine (digestive enzyme-producing) part of the pancreas. Nearly all of these are ductal adenocarcinomas.

There are also three rarer types of exocrine pancreatic cancer, for which the treatment followed is more or less the same as for ductal adenocarcinoma. Endocrine tumours of the pancreas exist too, arising from the islets of Langerhans (which produce several hormones including insulin), but are rare.9

section reviewed 31/12/09
section updated 31/12/09

In Europe and worldwide

Pancreatic cancer is the eighth most common cancer in Europe, with around 104,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (3% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised incidence rates for pancreatic cancer are in the Czech Republic for both men and women; the lowest rates are in Bosnia Herzegovina for both men and women. UK pancreatic cancer incidence rates are estimated to be the eighth lowest in males in Europe, and 20th highest in females.10 These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.11

Pancreatic cancer is the 12th most common cancer worldwide, with around 338,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (2% of the total). Pancreatic cancer incidence rates are highest in Northern America and lowest in Middle Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.10

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

Variation between countries may reflect different prevalence of risk factors, use of screening, and diagnostic methods.

section reviewed 11/06/14
section updated 11/06/14

By ethnicity

Age-standardised rates for White males with pancreatic cancer range from 10.2 to 10.7 per 100,000. Rates for Black males are similar, ranging from 7.6 to 14.2 per 100,000 and the rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 4.6 to 8.6 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 7.9 to 8.3 per 100,000. Rates for Black females are similar, ranging from 6.0 to 11.9 per 100,000, whereas the rates for Asian females are significantly lower, ranging from 2.9 to 5.9 per 100,000.15

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For pancreatic cancer, 31,702 cases were identified; 25% had no known ethnicity.

section reviewed 30/04/14
section updated 30/04/14

Prevalence

Prevalence refers to the number of people who have previously received a diagnosis of cancer and who are still alive at a given time point. Some patients will have been cured of their disease and others will not.

In the UK around 4,300 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer (Table 1.2).12

Table 1.2: Pancreatic Cancer (C25), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 1,186 1,898 2,205
Female 1,221 1,886 2,144
Persons 2,407 3,784 4,349

Download this table XLS (30KB) PPT (121KB) PDF (103KB)

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were more than 172,000 men and women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.16

section reviewed 17/05/13
section updated 17/05/13

No Error

Rate this page:
Submit rating
Rate this page
Rate this page for no comments box
Please enter feedback to continue submitting
Send feedback
Question about cancer? Contact our information nurse team

Visit our A-Z topic pages

 

References for pancreatic cancer incidence

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, June 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerData/OnlineStatistics/.
  5. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Cancer Incidence and Mortality by Cancer Network, UK, 2005. London: NCIN; 2008.
  6. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Cancer e-Atlas. Accessed July 2013.
  7. Lifetime risk was calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK, 2012.
  8. Esteve J, Benhamou E, Raymond L. Descriptive epidemiology (IARC Scientific Publications No. 128, p67-68: Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); 1994.
  9. Adami HO, Hunter D, Trichopoulos D. Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology. Vol 1. New York: Oxford University Press; 2002.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence. London, NCIN; 2010.
  13. Wood HE, Gupta S, Kang JY, et al. Pancreatic cancer in England and Wales 1975-2000: patterns and trends in incidence, survival and mortality. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics. Volume 23, Issue 8, pages 1205-14. 2006
  14. Simard EP, Ward EM, Siegel R, et al. Cancers with increasing incidence trends in the United States: 1999 through 2008. CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians. Volume 62, Issue 2 pages 118-128.
  15. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. 2009.
  16. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC); 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed July 2013.
Updated: 30 April 2014