Cancer mortality for common cancers

Common cancers

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

 

Cases

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

 

Cases

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.
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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.
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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.
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Mortality trends over the last decade in the UK vary by cancer type and sex.[1-3] Mortality rates have decreased for twelve of the twenty cancer types in males and eleven in females. Apart from female lung cancer, all four of the most common causes of cancer deaths in the UK – male lung, bowel, female breast and prostate cancers – have seen decreases in mortality in the last decade.

The 20 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three-Year Average Mortality Rates, Males, UK, 2001-2003 and 2010-2012

Brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours include malignant, benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours.

The 20 Most Common Causes of Cancer Death, Percentage Change in European Age-Standardised Three-Year Average Mortality Rates, Females, UK 2001-2003 and 2010-2012

Brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours include malignant, benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours.

The largest falls in mortality have occurred for stomach cancer (age-standardised (AS) mortality rates decreasing by 35% and 30% in males and females, respectively, in the last decade),[1-3] reflecting similar decreases in incidence. Much of the decrease in incidence and mortality can be attributed to a decline in the prevalence of Helicobacter pylori, an increase in fresh food in the diet, and possible changes in coding and diagnostic practices.[4,5]

Other cancers showing large decreases in mortality in the last decade include cervical cancer (AS mortality rate decreasing by 21% in the last decade, with much of this decrease being attributed to screening), laryngeal cancer in males (25% decrease), and ovarian cancer (20% decrease).[1-3]

Even though prostate cancer has shown one of the biggest increases in incidence in the last decade (with AS incidence rates rising by 16% between 2000-2002 and 2009-2011), the AS mortality rate has fallen by more than a tenth (13%) over the last ten years.[1-3] The impacts of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) Open a glossary item testing makes it difficult to untangle the reasons for the decrease in mortality. PSA testing leads to the over-diagnosis of some latent, non-lethal tumours, and accordingly some deaths in the early years of PSA testing around the early 1990s were erroneously attributed to prostate cancer, so mortality rates were artefactually increased. To an extent, the subsequent decrease in mortality rates may just represent a return to the background trend that would have been observed if PSA testing had not been used. It may also represent PSA testing affording earlier diagnosis and therefore more successful treatment, leading to a genuine decrease in mortality rates.[6-11]

Some cancers have seen increases in mortality over the past decade, which often reflect increases in incidence where there has been little or no improvement in survival.

Although mortality from liver cancer is rare in the UK (AS mortality rates are 6 and 3 per 100,000 males and females, respectively), it has shown the biggest rise in mortality in the last decade (with AS mortality rates increasing by 44% and 50% in males and females, respectively).

In females, the second biggest increase is from uterine cancer; this cancer also has a small mortality burden (4 per 100,000 females), and the AS mortality rate has increased by 15% in the last decade.[1-3]

Despite malignant melanoma being the second-fastest increasing cancer in both males and females in the last decade (with AS incidence rates rising by 57% and 39%, respectively, between 2000-2002 and 2009-2011), the increases in mortality are much less pronounced (with AS mortality rates rising by 20% and 2% in males and females, respectively, between 2001-2003 and 2010-2012).[1-3]

The third biggest increase in mortality in females and the fourth biggest in males is from cancer of other digestive organs, with the AS mortality rates rising by 11% and 13%, respectively, in the last decade. Cancer of other digestive organs include the spleen, unspecified parts of the intestinal tract, and overlapping and ill-defined sites within the digestive system. Since death certificates are often less specific than cancer registrations, many more deaths than cases are recorded for this site; mortality from this cancer is still very rare, however (4 and 3 per 100,000 males and females, respectively).[1-3]

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.
  4. Vyse AJ, Gay NJ, Hesketh LM, et al. The burden of Helicobacter pylori infection in England and Wales. Epidemiol Infect 2002;128:411-7.
  5. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Incidence of stomach cancer in England, 1998-2007 - NCIN Data Briefing. London: NCIN; 2010.
  6. Hankey BF, Feuer EJ, Clegg LX, et al. Cancer Surveillance Series: Interpreting Trends in Prostate Cancer-Part I: Evidence of the Effects of Screening in recent Prostate Cancer Incidence, Mortality and Survival Rates. JNCI 1999;91(12):1017-24.
  7. Feuer EJ, Merrill RM, Hankey BF. Cancer surveillance Series: Interpreting Trends in Prostate Cancer- Part II: Cause of Death Misclassification and the Recent Rise and Fall in Prostate Cancer Mortality. JNCI 1999;91(12):1025-32.
  8. Etzioni R, Legler JM, Feuer EJ, et al. Cancer surveillance series: interpreting trends in prostate cancer--part III: Quantifying the link between population prostate-specific antigen testing and recent declines in prostate cancer mortality. JNCI 1999;91(12):1033-39.
  9. Hussain S, Gunnell D, Donovan J, et al. Secular trends in prostate cancer mortality, incidence and treatment: England and Wales, 1975-2004. BJU Int 2008;101(5):547-55.
  10. Andriole GL, Crawford ED, Grubb RL, et al. Mortality Results from a Randomized Prostate-Cancer Screening Trial. N Engl J Med 2009;360(13):1310- 19.
  11. Schroder FH, Hugosson J, Roobol MJ, et al. Screening and Prostate- Cancer Mortality in a Randomized European Study. N Engl J Med 2009;360(13):1320-28.
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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.
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Local Cancer Statistics

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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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