Cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of cancer, 2013, UK

Common cancers

More than half of new cases of cancer are breast, lung, prostate or bowel cancer, 2013, UK

Age

Age that half of cancer cases are diagnosed, 2011-2013, UK

 

  • There were around 352,000 new cases of cancer in the UK in 2013, that’s 960 cases diagnosed every day.
  • In males, there were around 179,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2013.
  • In females, there were around 173,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2013.
  • Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.
  • Since the late 1970s, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased by almost a third (30% increase) in Great Britain. The increase is larger in females where rates have increased by almost two-fifths (37%), than in males where rates have increased by less than a fifth (17%).
  • Over the last decade, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased by less than a tenth (7%) in the UK, with a larger increase in females (8%, almost a tenth) than in males (3%, less than a twentieth).
  • Most cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage.
  • More than two million people in the UK are estimated (in 2008) to be alive having previously been diagnosed with cancer.
  • Incidence rates in the UK are lower than in the European Union in males, but higher in females.
  • Incidence rates in the UK are lower than in the More Developed Regions of the world in males, but higher in females. For both sexes, rates in the UK are higher than in the Less Developed Regions of the world.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics for all cancers combined

  • Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers together accounted for over half (53%) of all new cancers in the UK in 2013.
  • Thyroid cancer has shown the fastest increase in incidence in both males and females over the past decade in the UK.
  • Incidence of liver, oral, and kidney cancers, and malignant melanoma, has also increased markedly over the past decade in the UK for both males and females.
  • Stomach and bladder cancers have shown the fastest decreases in incidence over the past decade in the UK for both males and females.
  • For lung and oesophageal cancers, and leukaemia, the incidence trend differs between the sexes.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics for common cancers

  • Half (50%) of all cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in people aged 70 and over (2011-2013).
  • The most common cancers vary considerably by age group; different cancer types tend to be diagnosed in young people compared with older people.
  • Since the late 1970s, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased for all the broad age groups in Great Britain. The increase is largest in people aged 0-24 where rates have increased by more than two-fifths (43%), and smallest in people aged 50-74 where rates have increased by more than a quarter (29%).

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by age at diagnosis

  • Cancer is more common in white and black males than in Asian males.
  • Cancer is more common in white females than in Black or Asian females.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by ethnic group

  • Cancer in England is more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • There are around 15,000 extra cases of cancer, per year, in England, because of socio-economic variation.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by deprivation gradient

See in-depth statistics for all cancers combined, common cancers, by age at diagnosis, socio-economic variation, lifetime risk, projections and prevalence. 

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The latest data available for most cancers in the UK are: incidence 2013, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-11. Source years are specified in each section.

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for all cancers combined are ICD-10 C00-C97 excluding C44 which includes all malignant neoplasms excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC). NMSC is often excluded from cancer incidence statistics because it is extremely common and registration is known to be incomplete.

ICD codes for each cancer type are detailed within the types of cancer content.

European Age-Standardised Rates (ASRs) were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP1976) unless otherwise stated as calculated using ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with those using ESP1976.

Prevalence statistics were estimated from UK incidence 2008 data.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using England incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

Local Cancer Statistics

Find and compare local statistics and information in the UK by healthboard, Local Authority or postcode.

Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

Citation

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. 

Acknowledgements

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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