Cancer mortality by age

Age

Peak rate of cancer deaths, 2012-2014, UK

 

Cancer is primarily a disease of older people, with mortality rates increasing with age for most cancers.[1-3] In the UK in 2012-2014, on average each year more than half (53%) of deaths were in people aged 75 and over.

All Cancers (C00-C97) Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates, UK, 2012-2014

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015.Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
Last reviewed:

Cancer is a leading cause of death in all age groups except for 15-24 year old males. The proportion of deaths attributable to cancer in males ranges from 9% in 15-24 year olds to 41% in 50-74 year olds.[1-3]

The 4 Most Common Causes of Death in Males, Average Percentages and Numbers of Deaths, by Age, UK, 2009-2011

The percentages do not add up to 100% in some age groups due to rounding. Deaths are presented for 1-14 years only because of the large numbers of deaths that occur in infants (for example, during childbirth or related to immaturity conditions or congenital anomalies). In 2009-11 there was an average of 2,010 deaths per year in males aged under one, and 6 (0.3%) of these were due to malignant cancers (C00-C97).

In females, the proportion of deaths attributable to cancer ranges from 15% in 15-24 year-olds to 49% in 50-74 year-olds.[1-3] Cancer is responsible for a higher proportion of deaths in females than males for all age groups between 15 and 74. The largest difference between the sexes is seen in 25-49 year-olds, in which the proportion of cancer deaths is 18% in males compared with 39% in females. The relatively high number of breast cancer deaths in women aged 25-49 will explain some of the difference.

The 4 Most Common Causes of Death in Females, Average Percentages and Numbers of Deaths, by Age, UK, 2009-2011

The percentages do not add up to 100% in some age groups due to rounding. Deaths are presented for 1-14 years only because of the large numbers of deaths that occur in infants (for example, during childbirth or related to immaturity conditions or congenital anomalies). In 2009-2011 there was an average of 1,551 deaths per year in females aged under one, and 8 (0.5%) of these were due to malignant cancers (C00-C97).

Last reviewed:

The five most common causes of cancer death in males and females vary considerably by age group with particular differences in the causes of cancer death in children, teenagers and young adults, compared with those in older people. This reflects variation in the cancer types diagnosed by age group.[1-3]

Most Common Causes of Cancer Death in Males, Average Percentages and Numbers of Deaths, by Age, UK, 2012-2014

For the 25-49 age group, data in this chart do not sum to the all cancer deaths 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. Percentages may not sum to 100% due to rounding. SNS: Sympathetic nervous system. Brain tumours: brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours, including malignant, benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours.  Children: proportion of deaths in children previously diagnosed with cancer, 1996-2005, Great Britain. Teenagers and young adults: connective tissue is used as the nearest available proxy in ICD-10 coding for soft tissue sarcoma (STS), and is likely an underestimate of STS deaths.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015.Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
Last reviewed:

The five most common causes of cancer death in males and females vary considerably by age group with particular differences in the causes of cancer death in children, teenagers and young adults, compared with those in older people. This reflects variation in the cancer types diagnosed by age group.[1-3]

Most Common Causes of Cancer Death in Females, Average Percentages and Numbers of Deaths, by Age, UK, 2012-2014

Five most common causes of cancer deaths in males. Brain & CNS = Brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours. SNS = Sympathetic nervous system.. For all age groups the percentage denominator is all cancer deaths (C00-C97), except for children and teenagers and young adults where the percentage denominator also includes deaths from benign and uncertain or unknown brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours. For children, the proportions are of deaths in children previously diagnosed with cancer, Great Britain, 1996-2005.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015.Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
Last reviewed:

Over half (53% in 2012-2014) of all cancer deaths in the UK each year occur in the elderly aged 75+.[1-3] A further 43% occur in adults aged 50-74. Children, and teenagers and young adults (aged 0-24), each account for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in the UK each year.

In children in Great Britain, brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours are the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for around a third (31% and 33% in boys and girls respectively) of all cancer deaths in 1996-2005).[4]

In teenagers and young adults in the UK, brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours are the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for a quarter (25%) of all cancer deaths in males and around a fifth (19%) of all cancer deaths in females in 2012-2014.[1-3]

In males aged 25-49 in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for more than a tenth (14%) of all deaths in 2012-2014.[1-3] In females aged 25-49 in the UK, breast cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for almost a third (31%) of all deaths in 2012-2014.[1-3]

In adults aged 50-74 in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, accounting for around a quarter (26% and 25% in males and females respectively) of all cancer deaths in 2012-2014.[1-3]

In elderly people aged 75+ in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer, death, accounting for around a fifth (21% and 19% in males and females respectively) of all cancer deaths in 2012-2014.[1-3]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by the Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland on request, November 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/vital-events-reference-tables.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency on request, November 2015.Similar data can be found here: http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp2.htm.
  4. Office for National Statistics. Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR).
Last reviewed:

Mortality rates for all cancers combined have decreased overall for all of the broad age groups in the UK since the early 1970s, except for those aged 80+.[1-3] European age standardised (AS) mortality rates in 50-59 year olds have decreased from 313 deaths in every 100,000 in 1971-1973 to 179 in every 100,000 in 2010-2012 – a drop in rates of 43%.

The decrease in mortality rates in people younger than 50 is slightly greater than in the 50-59 age group (more than 50%); however, this age group accounts for less than 5% of the total cancer deaths. In people aged 60-69, the decline in mortality rates has not been so pronounced at around 31%. Although there has been an overall decrease in mortality rates of more than 9% in people aged 70-79, this includes an increase in females of 4% and a decrease in males of 26% (data not shown). In people aged 80 and over there has been an overall increase in mortality rates of 29% from 1,550 in every 100,000 people in 1971-1973 to 2,000 in 2010-2012; however, rates have fluctuated over the time period.[1-3]

All Cancers (C00-C97), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Persons UK, 1971-2011

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, January 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/publications/all-releases.html?definition=tcm%3A77-27475.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, March 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/general/ref-tables/index.html.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, December 2013. Similar data can be found here:http://www.nisra.gov.uk/demography/default.asp22.htm.
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.

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. 

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.5 out of 5 based on 11 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page