Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK (2011), accounting for 13% of all new cases. It is the third most common cancer in both males (14% of the male total) and females (11%) separately.[1-4]
In 2011, there were 41,581 new cases of bowel cancer in the UK: 23,171 (56%) in men and 18,410 (44%) in women, giving a male:female ratio of 13:10.[1-4] The
Bowel Cancer (C18-C20), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2011
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||55.9||57.0||64.6||61.3||57.3|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||57.5||63.5||70.2||71.4||58.8|
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||36.2||38.2||39.9||39.3||37.1|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||37.4||43.1||43.9||46.5||38.2|
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||45.5||47.6||51.7||50.5||46.6|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||46.5||51.6||55.0||56.5||47.5|
95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper
A north-south divide in bowel cancer incidence has existed across the UK since at least the 1990s. The most recent data shows that the highest incidence rates are still in areas of Scotland, Northern Ireland and the north of England for males. However, a clear divide across the UK is much less evident for females, with many parts of England also experiencing high incidence rates, such as areas in the east and south-west.
Almost two-thirds (66%) of all bowel cancers are cancer of the colon and over one-third (34%) are cancers of the rectum, though this distribution varies by sex. The crude incidence rate shows that there are 46 and 41 new colon cancer cases for every 100,000 males and females in the UK, respectively. The crude rates also show there are around 29 and 17 new rectal cancer cases for every 100,000 males and females in the UK, respectively.[1-4]
Colon (C18), Rectum and Rectosigmoid Junction (C19-C20) Cancers, Numbers of New Cases and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per Million Population, UK, 2011
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||34.7||25.8||29.9|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||35.8||26.7||30.7|
|Rectum and Rectosigmoid Junction (C19-C20)||Cases||8,892||5,334||14,226|
|AS Rate - 95% LCL||22.3||11.1||16.4|
|AS Rate - 95% UCL||23.2||11.7||17.0|
- Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/search/index.html?newquery=cancer+registrations
- Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp
- Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, June 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242pid=59080
- Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2013. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerData/OnlineStatistics/
- Quinn M WH, Cooper N, Rowan S. Cancer atlas of the United Kingdom and Ireland 1991-2000. London: Office for National Statistics; 2005.
- National Cancer Intelligence Network. Cancer e-atlas. Accessed January 2012.