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

Thyroid cancer mortality statistics

Mortality statistics for thyroid cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. 

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data

By country in the UK

Thyroid cancer accounts for less than 1% of all deaths from cancer in males and females in the UK (2011).1-3 In 2011, there were 343 deaths from thyroid cancer in the UK (Table 2.1): 145 (42%) in men and 198 (58%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of around 10:14.1-3 The crude mortality rate shows that there are 0.5 thyroid cancer deaths for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 0.6 for every 100,000 females.

The European age-standardised mortality rates (AS rates) are significantly higher in Northern Ireland compared with the other constituent countries of the UK (Table 2.1).1-3

Table 2.1: Thyroid Cancer (C73), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2011

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Deaths 116 6 11 12 145
Crude Rate 0.4 0.4 0.4 1.3 0.5
AS Rate 0.3 0.3 0.3 1.2 0.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 0.3 0.1 0.1 0.5 0.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 0.4 0.5 0.5 1.8 0.4
Female Deaths 163 8 15 12 198
Crude Rate 0.6 0.5 0.6 1.3 0.6
AS Rate 0.4 0.2 0.3 1.1 0.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.5 0.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 0.4 0.3 0.5 1.7 0.4
Persons Deaths 279 14 26 24 343
Crude Rate 0.5 0.5 0.5 1.3 0.5
AS Rate 0.3 0.2 0.3 1.1 0.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 0.3 0.1 0.2 0.6 0.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 0.4 0.3 0.4 1.5 0.4

Download this table XLS (34KB) 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 thyroid cancer mortality rates throughout the UK reports only modest variation.4

section reviewed 28/01/14
section updated 28/01/14

 

By age

Thyroid cancer mortality is strongly related to age, with the highest mortality rates being in older men and women. In the UK between 2009 and 2011, an average of 55% of thyroid cancer deaths were in men and women aged 75 years and over, and almost four in ten were in those aged 80 and over (Figure 2.1).1-3

Age-specific mortality rates rise gradually from around age 40 and subsequently more sharply from age 65, with the highest rates in the 85+ age group. Mortality rates are similar for males and females in all age groups.

Figure 2.1: Thyroid Cancer (C73), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates, UK, 2009-2011

deaths_crude_thyroid.swf

Download this chart XLS (58KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (325KB)

section reviewed 28/01/14
section updated 28/01/14

 

 

Trends over time

Thyroid cancer mortality rates have decreased overall in the UK since the early 1970s (Figure 2.2).1-3 For males, European AS mortality rates decreased by 32% between 1971-1973 and 2009-2011. The decline is bigger for women, with rates decreasing by 59% between 1971-1973 and 2009-2011. Over the last decade (between 2000-2002 and 2009-2011), the European AS mortality rates have remained stable for both males and females.

Figure 2.2: Thyroid Cancer (C73), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, UK, 1971-2011

mort_asr_uk_thyroid.swf

Download this chart XLS (60KB) PPT (138KB) PDF (46KB)

For males, thyroid cancer mortality rates have decreased overall for specific age groups in the UK since the early 1970s (Figure 2.3).1-3 The largest decreases have been in men aged between 40 and 54, with European AS mortality rates decreasing by 59% between 1971-1973 and 2009-2011. For men aged between 55 and 69, rates fell by 34% over the same period. For men aged 80 and over, current rates are similar to the early 1970s but there have been both increases and decreases during this time.

Figure 2.3: Thyroid Cancer (C73), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1971-2011

mort_asr_age_m_thyroid.swf

Download this chart XLS (66KB) PPT (146KB) PDF (44KB)

For females, thyroid cancer mortality rates have decreased overall for all of the broad age groups aged 40 and above in the UK since the early 1970s (Figure 2.3).1-3 The largest decreases have been in women aged between 55 and 69, with European AS mortality rates decreasing by around 68% between 1971-1973 and 2009-2011.

Figure 2.4: Thyroid Cancer (C73), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1971-2011

mort_asr_age_f_thyroid.swf

Download this chart XLS (61KB) PPT (142KB) PDF (44KB)

section reviewed 28/01/14
section updated 28/01/14

In Europe and worldwide

There were around 6,300 deaths from thyroid cancer in Europe in 2012 (0.4% of  total cancer deaths). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised mortality rates for thyroid cancer are in Iceland for men and Russia for women; the lowest rates are in Malta and Montenegro for men and Luxembourg for women. UK thyroid cancer mortality rates are estimated to be the 6th lowest in males in Europe, and 9th lowest in females.5 These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.6

There were around 37,800 deaths from thyroid cancer worldwide in 2012 (0.5% of total cancer deaths). Thyroid cancer mortality rates are highest in Melanesia and lowest in Northern Europe, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.5

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

section reviewed 27/05/14
section updated 27/05/14

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 thyroid cancer mortality

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, March 2013. 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, November 2012. 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, May 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp22.htm.
  4. European age-standardised mortality rate of thyroid cancer by local health authority in the UK, 2009-2011. These data were extracted from the UK Cancer Information Service, version 4.5b 001 on 29/10/2013.
  5. 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.
  6. 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: 28 January 2014