Cancer Statistics for the UK


New cases of cancer, 2012, UK


Deaths from cancer, 2012, UK


Survive cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales


Preventable cases of cancer, UK

  • 338,623 people in the UK were diagnosed with cancer in 2012.
  • 590.5 people per 100,000 of the population were diagnosed with cancer in the UK in 2012 (European age-standardised incidence rate).
  • Cancers of the breast, lung, prostate and bowel account for over half (53%) of all new cancer cases in the UK in 2012.

  • There were 161,823 deaths from cancer in the UK in 2012.
  • 168.6 people per 100,000 of the population died from cancer in the UK in 2012 (European age-standardised mortality rate).
  • Cancers of the lung, bowel, breast and prostate account for almost half (46%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2012.

  • Half (50%) of people diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Cancer survival is higher in women than men.
  • Cancer survival is improving and as has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.

  • 1 in 2 people born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
  • 4 in 10 cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other factors.
  • Tobacco is the single most preventable cause of death in the world.

  • GP referral and 'two-week wait' referral are the most common routes to diagnosis of cancer.
  • 'Two-week wait' standards are met by all countries, '31-day wait' is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and '62-day wait' is not met by any country for all cancers combined.

About this data

The latest data available for most cancers in the UK are: incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-11. Source years are specified in each section.

Coding and counting information is available with the in-depth content by cancer type.


You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.

Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year]. 

Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK. 


We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.

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