Cancer mortality statistics


Deaths from cancer, 2012, UK

Common cancers

Almost half of all deaths from cancer are from lung, bowel, breast or prostate cancers, 2012, UK

Proportion of UK deaths

Cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths, 2011, UK

  • In the UK there were around 162,000 deaths from cancer in 2012, that's more than 440 people every day.
  • More than one person dies from cancer every four minutes in the UK.
  • Cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK.
  • Cancer death rates in the UK have fallen by around a fifth over the last forty years and by 10% over the last decade.
  • Mortality rates in the UK are lower than in the European Union in males, but higher in females.
  • Mortality rates in the UK are lower than the More Developed Regions of the world in males, but higher in females. For both sexes, rates in the UK are higher than the Less Developed Regions of the world.

See more cancer mortality statistics for all cancers combined for the UK

  • For the majority of cancer types, mortality rates are generally higher in people living in more deprived areas, particularly for smoking-related cancers such as laryngeal, lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • For a malignant melanoma skin cancer, mortality rates are higher in people living in less deprived areas, because of lifestyle factors.
  • There are around 19,000 extra deaths from cancer, per year, in England, because of socio-economic variation.

See more cancer mortality statistics for all cancers combined by socio-economic group

The latest mortality statistics available for all cancers in the UK are 2012.

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for mortality from all cancers combined are ICD-10 C00-C97.

ICD codes for mortality of common cancers are detailed within the types of cancer content.

Socio-economic variation statistics were calculated using mortality data for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. 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.

Projections of mortality data from 2011 to 2030 were based on the actual mortality data for 1971-2010.

Other comparative statistics


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.

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.5 out of 5 based on 32 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page