Cancer mortality for common cancers

Common cancers

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

 

Males

Almost half of all cancer deaths in males are from lung, prostate or bowel cancer, 2014, UK

 

Females

Almost half of all cancer deaths in females are from lung, breast or bowel cancer, 2014, UK

 

Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for more than a fifth (22%) of all cancer deaths in males and females combined (2014).[1-3] The next most common causes of cancer death in UK people are bowel (10%), breast (7%) and prostate (7%) cancers. Though there are more than 200 types of cancer, just these four types – lung, bowel, breast and prostate – together account for almost half (46%) of all cancer deaths in the UK (2014).[1-3] Two of these types occur mainly or exclusively in only one sex.

The 20 Most Common Causes of Cancer Deaths, UK, 2014

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, 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:

Lung cancer is by far the most common cause of cancer deaths in males accounting for almost a quarter (23%) of all male cancer deaths (2014).[1-3] The next most common causes of cancer death in UK males are prostate (13%) and bowel (10%) cancers. Lung, prostate and bowel cancers– together account for almost half (46%) of all male cancer deaths in the UK. Bladder, stomach and liver cancers are among the UK top ten most common causes of cancer deaths in males, but not in females.

The 10 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death in Males, UK, 2014

10 Most common cancers males

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 Causes of Cancer Death in Males, Percentages of All Cancer Deaths (C00-C97), UK, 2014

3 most common cancers males

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:

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in UK females, accounting for around a fifth (21%) of all female cancer deaths (2014).[1-3] The next most common causes of cancer death in UK females are breast cancer (15%) and bowel cancer (10%). Lung, breast and bowel cancers together account for nearly half (46%) of all female cancer deaths in the UK. Two of the UK ten most common causes of female cancer death are sex-specific (uterus and ovary), compared with just one of the ten most common in males (prostate). Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and breast cancer are among the UK ten most common causes of cancer death in females, but not in males.

The 10 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death in Females, UK, 2012

10 Most common females

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 Causes of Cancer Death in Females, Percentages of All Cancer Deaths (C00-C97), UK, 2012

3 Most common feamles

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:

Mortality trends over the last decade in the UK vary by cancer type and sex.[1-3] The trends largely reflect changes in incidence and survival, e.g. increased incidence without sufficient survival improvement results in increased mortality.

Liver cancer has shown the fastest increase in mortality (within the current 20 most common UK causes of cancer death) over the past decade in the UK for both males and females. Liver cancer mortality rates have increased by 53% in males and 59% in females over the past decade in the UK.

The second and third fastest-increasing causes of UK cancer death are malignant melanoma and oral cancer for males, and mesothelioma and oral cancers for females.

Stomach cancer has shown the fastest decrease in mortality (within the current 20 most common UK causes of cancer death) over the past decade in the UK for both males and females. Stomach cancer mortality rates have decreased by 32% in males and 31% in females over the past decade in the UK.

The second and third fastest-decreasing causes of UK cancer death are lung and bowel cancers for males, and cervix and breast cancers for females.

Lung cancer is the only cancer type in which the mortality trend differs between the sexes (among cancer types which appear in the current 20 most common UK causes of cancer death for both sexes). In males lung cancer mortality has decreased, while in females it has increased.

The 20 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death 2014, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three Year Average Mortality Rates, Males, UK, 2003-2005 and 2012-2014

The 20 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death 2014, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three Year Average Mortality Rates, Females, UK 2003-2005 and 2012-2014

Infographic showing 20 most common cancers in females

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:

Mortality rates are projected to fall for most types of cancer in the UK between 2014 and 2035.[1] Among cancer types with falling rates, the size of the overall decrease between 2014 and 2035 ranges from less than 1% (laryngeal cancer) to 46% (mesothelioma).

For a smaller number of cancer types, mortality rates are projected to rise in the UK between 2014 and 2035. Among cancer types with rising rates, the size of the overall increase between 2014 and 2035 ranges from 7% (thyroid cancer) to 58% (liver cancer).

Selected Cancers, Number of Deaths and European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Males, UK, 1979, 2014 and 2035

  Age-standardised Rate (per 100,000) Deaths
Cancer site 1979 (Observed) 2014 (Observed) 2035 (Projected) % Change 2014-2035 1979 (Observed) 2014 (Observed) 2035 (Projected) % Change 2014-2035
Anus 0.50 0.66 0.91 37.90 69.00 143 302.52 111.55
Bladder 26.48 17.98 13.79 -23.31 3277.00 3614 5189.82 43.60
Bone 1.23 0.80 0.48 -40.29 205.00 187 154.71 -17.27
Bowel 65.14 40.41 28.86 -28.58 8596.00 8566 10270.28 19.90
Brain 9.46 12.22 11.97 -2.10 1763.00 2821 3887.01 37.79
Hodgkin Lymphoma 2.08 0.91 0.75 -18.09 388.00 211 250.45 18.70
Kidney 8.12 12.75 11.40 -10.59 1258.00 2771 3957.66 42.82
Larynx 5.23 3.10 2.80 -9.77 724.00 677 954.03 40.92
Leukaemia 12.86 12.41 9.64 -22.35 1810.00 2630 3551.68 35.04
Liver 4.04 13.85 21.75 57.01 634.00 3052 7449.34 144.08
Lung 201.35 89.69 64.97 -27.56 30391.00 19563 22226.74 13.62
Malignant Melanoma 2.25 6.44 5.57 -13.38 396.00 1431 1974.49 37.98
Mesothelioma 2.04 9.93 5.10 -48.66 348.82 2154 1875.83 -12.90
Myeloma 6.10 7.50 6.33 -15.64 886.00 1596 2264.73 41.90
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 7.57 12.10 9.49 -21.58 1186.00 2603 3434.57 31.95
Oesophagus 16.53 23.53 19.35 -17.79 2379.00 5213 6570.96 26.05
Oral 6.88 6.97 9.51 36.54 922.00 1613 3074.45 90.60
Pancreas 24.68 20.07 20.00 -0.36 3457.00 4426 6871.66 55.26
Prostate 49.07 57.22 47.86 -16.36 5401.00 11287 18336.23 62.45
Stomach 52.58 13.69 9.31 -32.00 7353.00 2919 3294.87 12.88
Testis 0.99 0.24 0.15 -34.87 210.00 60 51.13 -14.79
Thyroid 0.89 0.71 0.68 -4.63 128.00 154 234.55 52.30
Other 37.73 40.75 29.22 -28.30 5477.00 8641 10407.62 20.44
All cancers 543.81 403.92 329.86 -18.33 77258.82 86332 116585.30 35.04

Selected Cancers, Number of Deathsand European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Females, UK, 1979, 2014 and 2035

  Age-standardised Rate (per 100,000) Deaths
Cancer site 1979 (Observed) 2014 (Observed) 2035 (Projected) % Change 2014-2035 1979 (Observed) 2014 (Observed) 2035 (Projected) % Change 2014-2035
Anus 0.43 0.78 1.26 61.84 88.00 215 474.84 120.86
Bladder 7.16 6.12 5.78 -5.56 1470.00 1755 2581.42 47.09
Bone 0.56 0.55 0.54 -2.67 130.00 152 197.29 29.80
Bowel 48.63 25.97 21.08 -18.83 9933.00 7337 8976.63 22.35
Brain 6.64 8.47 8.26 -2.40 1455.00 2295 3072.60 33.88
Breast 64.69 41.15 30.51 -25.86 13498.00 11360 11875.54 4.54
Cervix 11.02 3.31 3.08 -6.90 2335.00 890 1029.95 15.72
Hodgkin Lymphoma 1.22 0.52 0.31 -39.82 269.00 143 117.70 -17.69
Kidney 3.73 5.88 4.29 -27.07 796.00 1637 1781.37 8.82
Larynx 0.99 0.61 0.74 21.97 209.00 162 274.68 69.56
Leukaemia 7.72 6.82 5.78 -15.31 1623.00 1907 2539.11 33.15
Liver 1.90 7.38 11.33 53.40 403.00 2035 4730.14 132.44
Lung 41.93 60.52 51.81 -14.38 9073.00 16331 19604.32 20.04
Malignant Melanoma 2.40 3.71 3.05 -17.98 505.00 1027 1235.89 20.34
Mesothelioma 0.44 1.59 1.01 -36.47 95.16 424 422.05 -0.43
Myeloma 4.27 4.79 3.72 -22.24 909.00 1332 1570.42 17.90
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 5.31 7.86 6.25 -20.49 1138.00 2183 2694.18 23.42
Oesophagus 8.72 9.25 7.64 -17.44 1807.00 2577 3176.99 23.28
Oral 3.05 2.82 4.00 41.82 634.00 773 1517.44 96.31
Ovary 19.06 15.36 9.62 -37.42 4079.00 4127 3743.83 -9.28
Pancreas 15.33 16.02 15.12 -5.63 3206.00 4391 6132.70 39.67
Stomach 26.17 5.92 4.53 -23.62 5372.00 1657 1897.55 14.52
Thyroid 1.46 0.79 0.93 17.21 311.00 222 377.76 70.16
Uterus 8.00 7.98 9.47 18.66 1694.00 2166 3829.07 76.78
Other 31.06 35.61 28.93 -18.76 6462.00 9992 12107.30 21.17
All cancers 321.88 279.78 239.02 -14.57 67494.16 77090 95960.78 24.48

Liver cancer has the fastest-increasing projected mortality rate in males, rising by 2% per year on average between 2015 and 2035.  For females, anus cancer has the fastest-increasing projected mortality rate, rising by 2% per year on average between 2015 and 2035.

The Five Cancers with the Highest Average Annual Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Males, UK, 2015-2035

Projections mortality rates females

The Five Cancers with the Highest Average Annual Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, Females, UK, 2015-2035

projections mortality rates male

For almost all cancer types, the number of deaths is projected to increase between 2014 and 2035. This is due to the growing and ageing population, as well as increases in incidence rates.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected). ICD-10 codes all cancers combined C00-C97 excluding C44, plus D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5; anal C21; bladder C67; bone sarcoma C40-C41; bowel C18-C20; brain C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5; breast C50; cervical C53; Hodgkin lymphoma C81; kidney C64-C66, C68; laryngeal C32; leukaemia C91-C95; liver C22; lung C33-C34; malignant melanoma C43; mesothelioma C45; myeloma C90; non-Hodgkin lymphoma C82-C85; oesophageal C15; oral C00-C06, C09-C10, C12-C14; ovarian C56-C57.4; pancreatic C25; prostate C61; stomach C16; testicular C62; thyroid C73; uterine C54-C55.

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. The definition of 'all cancer types/sites combined' used here differs from that typically used in mortality statistics on this website: benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5) are included here, and non-melanoma skin cancer (C44) is excluded. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

Last reviewed:

There are relatively few cancer types where European age-standardised mortality rates differ significantly between UK constituent countries. Such differences are often due to variation in incidence rates. Between-country variation is discussed on the types of cancer pages.

The four most common causes of cancer death are the same in all the UK constituent countries – lung, bowel, breast and prostate.[1-3]. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer deaths in all the UK countries, and bowel cancer is second most common. Breast cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death in all UK countries except for Wales, in which prostate cancer is the third most common.

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:

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