Cancer mortality statistics

Deaths

Deaths from cancer, 2014, UK

Common cancers

Almost half of all cancer deaths are lung, bowel, breast or prostate cancer, 2014, UK

 

Proportion of UK deaths

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

  • There were around 163,000 cancer deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s 450 deaths every day.
  • In males, there were around 86,500 cancer deaths in the UK in 2014.
  • In females, there were around 76,900 cancer deaths in the UK in 2014.
  • Every four minutes someone in the UK dies from cancer.
  • Since the early 1970s, mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased by more than a tenth (14% decrease) in the UK. The decrease is larger in males where rates have decreased by more than a fifth (22%), than in females where rates have decreased by almost a tenth (8%).
  • Over the last decade, mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased by almost a tenth (8%) in the UK, with a larger decrease in males (10%, a tenth) than in females (7%, less than a tenth).
  • An estimated 519,000 cancer deaths have been avoided in the UK between the 1980s and 2010 because mortality rates dropped from their peak levels in the 1980s.
  • Mortality rates for all cancers combined are projected to fall by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 280 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths in the UK.
  • 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 in-depth cancer mortality statistics for all cancers combined

  • Lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancers together accounted for almost half (46%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2014.
  • More than a fifth of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer.
  • Liver cancer has shown the fastest increase in mortality in both males and females over the past decade in the UK.
  • Stomach cancer has shown the fastest decrease in mortality over the past decade in the UK for both males and females.
  • For lung cancer the mortality trend differs between the sexes.
  • Mortality rates are projected to fall for most types of cancer in the UK between 2014 and 2035.
  • Among cancer types where rates are projected to rise in the UK between 2014 and 2035, the size of the increase ranges from 7% (thyroid cancer) to 58% (liver cancer).
  • Among cancer types where rates are projected to fall in the UK between 2014 and 2035, the size of the decrease ranges from less than 1% (laryngeal cancer) to 46% (mesothelioma).

See more in-depth cancer mortality statistics for common cancers

  • More than half (53%) of cancer deaths in the UK are in people aged 75 years and over (2012-2014).
  • The most common causes of cancer death vary considerably by age group, because different cancer types tend to be diagnosed in young people compared with older people.
  • Since the early 1970s, mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased in most of the broad age groups in the UK, but have increased in people aged 75+. The decrease is largest in people aged 0-24 where rates have decreased by more than three-fifths (62%).

See more in-depth cancer mortality statistics by age

  • Cancer deaths in England are more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • There are around 19,000 extra deaths from cancer, per year, in England because of socio-economic variation.

See more in-depth cancer mortality statistics by deprivation gradient

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

 

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The latest mortality statistics available for all cancers in the UK are 2014.

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

ICD codes for 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 with ESP2013. ASRs calculated using ESP2013 are not comparable with those using ESP1976.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using England 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.

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]. 

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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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