Cancer incidence by age

Cancer is primarily a disease of older people, with incidence rates increasing with age for most cancers.[1-4] More than a third (36% in the UK in 2010-2012) of cancers are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.

All Cancers (C00-C97 Excl. C44) Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, UK, 2010-2012

Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer.
ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

The five most common cancers in males and females vary considerably by age group.[1-7]

The Five Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancers in Males, Average Percentages and Numbers of New Cases, by Age, UK, 2010-2012

Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. CNS: Central nervous system. NHL: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. SNS: Sympathetic nervous system. Brain tumours: brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours, including malignant, benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours. For all age groups the percentage denominator is all cancers combined (C00-C97 excl. C44), except for children and teenagers and young adults where the percentage denominator also includes benign and uncertain or unknown brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours. The proportions of childhood cancers are for children diagnosed with cancer during 2006-2008 in Great Britain. The proportions of teenage and young adult cancers are for 15-24 year-olds diagnosed with cancer during 2000-2009 in the UK.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. Childhood Cancer Research Group. (Accessed December 2012)
  6. Stiller CA. Childhood cancer in Britain: Incidence, survival, mortality. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2007.
  7. Data were provided by North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) on request.
Last reviewed:

The Five Most Commonly Diagnosed Cancers in Females, Average Percentages and Numbers of New Cases, by Age, UK, 2010-2012

Excluding non-melanoma skin cancer. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. CNS:Central nervous system. NHL: Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. SNS: Sympathetic nervous system. Brain tumours: brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours, including malignant, benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours. For all age groups the percentage denominator is all cancers combined (C00-C97 excl. C44), except for children and teenagers and young adults where the percentage denominator also includes benign and uncertain or unknown brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours. The proportions of childhood cancers are for children diagnosed with cancer during 2006-2008 in Great Britain. The proportions of teenage and young adult cancers are for 15-24 year-olds diagnosed with cancer during 2000-2009 in the UK.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  5. Childhood Cancer Research Group. (Accessed December 2012)
  6. Stiller CA. Childhood cancer in Britain: Incidence, survival, mortality. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2007.
  7. Data were provided by North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) on request.
Last reviewed:

Cancer is relatively rare in children,with this age group accounting for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases (UK 2010-2012).[1-4] An average of 836 and 696 cases per year were diagnosed in boys and girls, respectively, in the UK between 2010 and 2012. These totals include benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours.

Around 1 in 500 children develop cancer by age 14 years in Great Britain.[5] Leukaemia is the most common childhood cancer, accounting for around a third of all cases (31% and 29% in boys and girls, respectively) in Great Britain between 2006 and 2008.[6]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. Stiller CA. Childhood cancer in Britain: Incidence, survival, mortality. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2007.
  6. Childhood Cancer Research Group. (Accessed December 2012)
Last reviewed:

Cancer is also relatively rare in teenagers and young adultsaccounting for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases (UK, 2010-2012).[1-4] An average of 1,135 and 1,097 cases per year were diagnosed in males and females, respectively, in the UK between 2010 and 2012.[1-4] These totals include benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours.

Germ cell tumours (such as testicular germ cell tumours) are the most common cancers in men aged 15-24, accounting for more than a quarter (27%) of the total in the UK between 2000 and 2009.[5] Carcinomas(such as of the thyroid, cervix, bowel and ovary) are the most common cancers in women aged 15-24, accounting for 31% of the total.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. Data were provided by North West Cancer Intelligence Service (NWCIS) on request.
Last reviewed:

Adults aged 25-49 contribute around a tenth (10%) of all new cancer cases (UK, 2010-2012).[1-4] There are almost twice as many cases in women aged 25-49 (an average of 21,997 cases per year in the UK between 2010 and 2012) compared with men of the same age (11,166). However, this difference can be attributed to the high incidence of breast cancerin women, which accounts for 45% of all cancers among women in this age group. The vast majority of these breast cancers will be diagnosed once they have caused symptoms, since women aged 25-49 are too young for routine breast screening.

Other common cancers for females in this age group are malignant melanoma and cervical cancer (9% and 8%, respectively), though many more cervical cancers have been prevented though cervical screening.It is estimated that cervical screening saves up to 5,000 lives each year in the UK,[5] preventing between 45% and 75% of cervical cancer cases in women who attend regularly.[6]

The most common cancers in men aged 25-49 are testicular cancer (14%), malignant melanoma (11%) and bowel cancer (10%) (UK, 2010-2012).[1-4] Prostate cancercontributes only 4% of the total in men in this age group.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
  5. Peto J, Gilham C, Fletcher O, et al. The cervical cancer epidemic that screening has prevented in the UK. Lancet 2004;364:249-56.
  6. Sasieni P, Castanon A, Cuzick J. Effectiveness of cervical screening with age: population based case-control study of prospectively recorded data. BMJ 2009;339:b2968.
Last reviewed:

Over half (53%) of all cancers are diagnosed in adults aged 50-74 (UK, 2010-2012). However, there are more cases in this group than in the elderly (in whom rates are higher), because there are more 50-74 year-olds in the population.[1-4] Slightly more cases are diagnosed in males (an average of 94,291 per year in the UK between 2010 and 2012) than in females (83,259) in this age group.

Prostate cancer accounts for more than a quarter (28%) of cases diagnosed in men aged 50-74.[1-4] Lung and bowel cancers each contribute 14% of the male total.

Around a third (34%) of cases diagnosed in females aged 50-74 are breast cancers,[1-4] many of which are diagnosed through screening. Lung and bowel cancers account for 13% and 10% of cases, respectively.

Many bowel cancers in this age group will have been detected through bowel screening.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

Over a third (36%) of all cancers are diagnosed in the elderly (UK, 2010-2012).[1-4] Incidence rates peak in the elderly for most cancers. The relatively low proportion of cancers (36%) this age group contributes to the total amount of cancers is because there are fewer people of this age in the population compared with other age groups. Slightly more cases are diagnosed in males (an average of 61,965 per year in the UK between 2010 and 2012) than in females (57,872).

A quarter (25%) of cancers in elderly men are prostate cancers.[1-4] Lung and bowel cancers contribute 17% and 15% of cases in this age group, respectively.

Breast (21%), lung (15%) and bowel (15%) cancers are the most common in elderly women.[1-4]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. 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 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

Incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased for all of the broad age groups in Great Britain since the late-1970s.[1-3] The largest increase has been in the 75+ age group, with European age-standardised (AS) incidence rate Open a glossary item increasing by 29% between 1979-1981 and 2010-2012, though the pace of increase has slowed in the last decade. In other age groups the rise has been slightly smaller, but steadier. The smallest increase has been in people aged 50-74, in whom rates increased by 27% between 1979-1981 and 2010-2012.

All Cancers Excluding Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer (C00-C97 Excl. C44), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Great Britain, 1979-2012

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080
Last reviewed:

Other comparative statistics

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