Cancer incidence for common cancers

Common cancers

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

 

Most common in males

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

 

Most common in females

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

 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK, accounting for almost a sixth (15%) of all cases in males and females combined (2013).[1-4] The next most common cancers in UK people are prostate (13%), lung (13%), and bowel (12%). Though there are more than 200 types of cancer, just these four types - breast, prostate, lung and bowel - together account for over half (53%) of all new cases in the UK (2013).[1-4] The two most common cancer types occur mainly or exclusively in only one sex.

The 20 Most Common Cancers, UK, 2013

This chart excludes non-melanoma skin cancer because of known under-reporting. Data in this chart do not sum to the all cancers combined total provided elsewhere, because 'Brain, other CNS (central nervous system) and intracranial' includes tumours that are malignant, benign and of uncertain or unknown behaviour but only the malignant tumours are included in 'all cancers combined' total.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. 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 2015. 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, February 2015. 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, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in UK males, accounting for around a quarter (26%) of male cases (2013).[1-4] The next most common cancers in UK males are lung cancer (14%) and bowel cancer (13%). Prostate, lung and bowel cancers together account for over half (53%) of all new cases in males in the UK. Bladder and oesophageal cancers, and leukaemia, are among the UK ten most common cancers in males, but not in females.

The 10 Most Common Cancers in Males, UK, 2013

10 most common cancers males

This chart excludes non-melanoma skin cancer because of known under-reporting. Data in this chart do not sum to the all cancers combined total provided elsewhere, because 'Brain, other CNS (central nervous system) and intracranial' includes tumours that are malignant, benign and of uncertain or unknown behaviour but only the malignant tumours are included in 'all cancers combined' total.

Most Common Cancers in Males, Percentages of All Cancer Cases (C00-C97 excl. C44), UK, 2013

3 most common cancers males

This chart excludes non-melanoma skin cancer because of known under-reporting.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. 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 2015. 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, February 2015. 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, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in UK females, accounting for around a third (31%) of all female cases (2013).[1-4] The next most common cancers in UK females are lung cancer (12%) and bowel cancer (11%). Breast, lung and bowel cancers together account for over half (54%) of all new cases in females in the UK. Two of the ten most common cancers in females are sex-specific (uterus and ovary), compared with just one of the ten most common in males. Pancreatic cancer is among the ten most common cancers in females, but not in males.

The 10 Most Common Cancers in Females, UK, 2013

10 common cancers females

This chart excludes non-melanoma skin cancer because of known under-reporting. Data in this chart do not sum to the all cancers combined total provided elsewhere, because 'Brain, other CNS (central nervous system) and intracranial' includes tumours that are malignant, benign and of uncertain or unknown behaviour but only the malignant tumours are included in 'all cancers combined' total.

Most Common Cancers in Females, Percentages of All Cancer Cases (C00-C97 excl. C44), UK, 2013

3 most common cancers females

3% of all female cancer cases are registered as cancer of unknown primary (CUP).

This chart excludes non-melanoma skin cancer because of known under-reporting.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. 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 2015. 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, February 2015. 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, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

Incidence trends over the last decade in the UK vary by cancer type and sex.[1-4] The trends largely reflect changes in prevalence of risk factors, developments in detection methods, or variation in data recording practices.

Thyroid, liver, oral, and kidney cancers, and malignant melanoma, have shown the fastest increases in incidence (within the current 20 most common UK cancers) over the past decade in the UK for both males and females. The size of the increases varies between sexes. But for both males and females, thyroid cancer has shown the fastest increase in incidence, with rates increasing by more than two-thirds over the past decade in the UK.

Stomach and bladder cancers have shown the fastest decreases in incidence (within the current 20 most common UK cancers) over the past decade in the UK for both males and females. The size of the increases varies between sexes. For both males and females, stomach cancer incidence rates have decreased by more than a quarter. 

For lung and oesophageal cancers, and leukaemia, the incidence trend differs between the sexes. In males lung cancer incidence has decreased, while in females it has increased. In males leukaemia incidence has increased, while in females it has remained stable. In females oesophageal cancer incidence has decreased, while in males it has remained stable.

The 20 Most Common Cancers 2013, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three Year Average Incidence Rates, Males, UK, 2002-2004 and 2011-2013

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

The 20 Most Common Cancers 2013, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three Year Average Incidence Rates, Females, UK, 2002-2004 and 2011-2013

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 2015. 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 2015. 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, February 2015. 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, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

There are relatively few cancer types where European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates differ significantly between UK constituent countries. Such differences are often due to variation in data recording (e.g. definitions of recordable tumour types), risk factor prevalence (e.g. cigarette smoking rates), or diagnostic activity (e.g. screening uptake rates). Between-country variation is discussed on the types of cancer pages.

The five most common cancers are the same in all the UK constituent countries – breast, prostate, lung, and bowel cancers, and malignant melanoma.[1-4] The order of these five varies between countries. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in all the UK countries except Scotland, where lung cancer is most common. 

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. 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 2015. 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, February 2015. 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, March 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/
Last reviewed:

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.

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