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

Uterine (womb) cancer incidence statistics

Incidence statistics for uterine (womb) cancer by country in the UK, age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data on geographic variation and prevalence. 

Find out more about the coding and counting of this data

By country in the UK

Uterine (womb) cancer is the 4th most common cancer among women in the UK (2011), accounting for 5% of all new cases of cancer in females.1-4

In 2011, there were 8,475 new cases of uterine cancer in the UK (Table 1.1).1-4 The crude incidence rate shows that there are 26 new uterine cancer cases for every 100,000 females in the UK.

The European age-standardised incidence rates (AS rates) are significantly higher in Wales compared to Scotland (Table 1.1).1-4 The rates do not differ significantly between the other constituent countries of the UK.

Table 1.1: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2011

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Cases 7,066 499 685 225 8,475
Crude Rate 26.2 32.0 25.3 24.3 26.3
AS Rate 20.4 22.2 18.8 20.7 20.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 19.9 20.3 17.4 18.0 19.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 20.9 24.2 20.3 23.4 20.8

Download this table XLS (31KB) PPT (133KB) PDF (17KB)

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

In the 1990s there was a north-south divide in corpus uteri (ICD-10 C54) incidence rates across Great Britain, with higher rates in the midlands, south and east of England, and lower rates in Scotland and the north of England. The latest analyses of uterine cancer incidence rates across the former cancer networks throughout the UK reports significant variation with higher than average rates in Wales, Yorkshire, the Midlands and Anglia and lower than average rates in Scotland, the North West, and Southern England.5,6

section reviewed 07/05/14
section updated 07/05/14

By age

Uterine cancer incidence is related to age, but does not entirely follow the pattern of increasing incidence with age seen for most cancers. In the UK between 2009 and 2011, an average of a quarter (25%) of cases were diagnosed in women aged 75 and over. Almost three quarters (73%) of cases were diagnosed women aged between 40 and 74 (Figure 1.1).1-4

Age-specific incidence rates rise sharply from around age 40, peak in the 70-74 age group, and subsequently decline steadily. Changes in hormone levels, both endogenous and exogenous, during and after the menopause may explain the decrease in the oldest age groups.7

Figure 1.1: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Females, UK, 2009-2011

cases_crude_uterus.swf

Download this chart XLS (55KB) PPT (142KB) PDF (310KB)

section reviewed 07/05/14
section updated 07/05/14

 

Trends over time

Uterine cancer incidence rates have increased overall in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, however most of this increase has occurred since the early 1990s (Figure 1.2).1-3 European AS incidence rates remained stable between 1975-1977 and 1992-1994, then increased by 48% between 1992-1994 and 2009-2011. There are likely to be several reasons for the increase in incidence, including increased prevalence of overweight and obesity, and changes in reproductive behaviour.8,9

Figure 1.2: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Females, Great Britain, 1975-2011

inc_asr_gb_uterus.swf

Download this chart XLS (47KB) PPT (133KB) PDF (24KB)

Uterine 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 have increased by 23%.

Figure 1.3: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Females, UK, 1993-2011

inc_asr_uk_uterus.swf

Download this chart XLS (44KB) PPT (125KB) PDF (37KB)

Uterine cancer incidence rates have increased in the 55-64, 65-79 and 80+ age groups in Great Britain since the mid-1970s, with fast increases since the early 1990s, while rates in younger age groups have overall remained relatively stable, though this includes a decrease followed by an increase since the mid-1990s (Figure 1.4).1-3

The largest increase overall has been in women aged 65-79, with European AS incidence rates doubling (102% increase) between 1975-1977 and 2009-2011. In females aged 0-39 and 40-54, incidence rates decreased between 1975-1977 and 1994-1996 (by 40% and 22% respectively), and have since increased by 80% and 22% respectively.12,17

Increased obesity prevalence is probably implicated in rising uterine cancer rates in all age groups.12,17 Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT), particularly oestrogen-only forms, may explain the larger increases in older birth cohorts; oestrogen-only HRT was popular during the 1960s and early 1970s, but HRT overall is now used much less because it is associated with increased uterine cancer risk.10,12,13 The impact of decreased HRT is perhaps yet to be seen in younger birth cohort; the decrease in uterine cancer rates until the 1990s in these younger birth cohorts may reflect the protective effect of oral contraceptives, which have been in widespread use since the 1960s.11-13

Figure 1.4: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Females, By Age, Great Britain, 1975-2011

inc_asr_age_uterus.swf

Download this chart XLS (58KB) PPT (135KB) PDF (52KB)

section reviewed 07/05/14
section updated 07/05/14

 

In Europe and worldwide

Uterine cancer (C54 only) is the fourth most common cancer in Europe for females, and the tenth most common cancer overall, with around 99,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (6% of female cases and 3% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised incidence rates for uterine cancer are in Macedonia; the lowest are in Greece. UK uterine cancer incidence rates are estimated to be the 20th highest in Europe.20 These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.19

Uterine cancer (C54 only) is the sixth most common cancer worldwide for females, and the 14th most common cancer overall, with more than 319,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (5% of female cases and 2% of the total). Uterine cancer incidence rates are highest in Northern America, and lowest in South Central Asia, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.20

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

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

section reviewed 12/06/14
section updated 12/06/14

By ethnicity

Age-standardised rates for White females with uterine (womb) cancer range from 16.9 to 17.7 per 100,000. Rates for Asian and Black females are similar ranging from 10.7 to 18.0 per 100,000 and 13.7 to 23.6 per 100,000 respectively.18 There appears to be no significant variation in uterine (womb) cancer incidence by ethnicity in the UK.

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For uterine (womb) cancer, 27,680 cases were identified; 22% had no known ethnicity.

section reviewed 07/05/14
section updated 07/05/14

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 38,700 women were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with uterine cancer (Table 1.2).16

Table 1.2: Uterine Cancer (C54-C55), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Female 5,920 23,364 38,667

Download this table XLS (30KB) PPT (117KB) PDF (15KB)

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were nearly 1.10 million women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.14

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

No Error

Rate this page:
Submit rating
Rated 3 out of 5 based on 2 votes
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 uterine (womb) 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 January 2014.
  7. Key TJ, Pike MC. The dose-effect relationship between 'unopposed' oestrogens and endometrial mitotic rate: its central role in explaining and predicting endometrial cancer risk. Br J Cancer 1988;57(2):205-12.
  8. Evans T, Sany O, Pearmain P, et al. Differential trends in the rising incidence of endometrial cancer by type: data from a UK population-based registry from 1994 to 2006. Br J cancer 2011;104(9):1505-1510.
  9. Duncan ME, Seagroatt V, Goldacre MJ. Cancer of the body of the uterus: trends in mortality and incidence in England, 1985–2008. BJOG 2012;119(3):333-339.
  10. Cogliano VJ, Baan R, Straif K, et al. Preventable Exposures Associated With Human Cancers. J Natl Cancer I 2011;103(24):1827-39.
  11. Martin RM, Wheeler BW, Metcalfe C, et al. What was the immediate impact on population health of the recent fall in hormone replacement therapy prescribing in England? Ecological study. J Public Health 2010;32(4):555-64.
  12. Bray F, Dos Santos Silva I, Moller H, et al. Endometrial cancer incidence trends in Europe: underlying determinants and prospects for prevention. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2005;14(5):1132-42.
  13. Dossus L, Allen N, Kaaks R, et al. Reproductive risk factors and endometrial cancer: The European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition. Int J Cancer 2009;127(2):442-51.
  14. 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. 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
  15. European age-standardised rates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. 2011, using data from GLOBOCAN 2008, v1.2, IARC.
  16. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010.
  17. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). Uterine Cancer in the United Kingdom: overall trends and variation by age. London: NCIN; 2013.
  18. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. 2009.
  19. 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.
  20. 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: 7 May 2014