Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours statistics

Cases

New cases of brain tumours, 2012, UK

Deaths

Deaths from brain tumours, 2012, UK

Survival

Survive brain tumours for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Prevention

Preventable cases of brain tumours, UK

  • There were around 9,700 new cases of brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour in the UK in 2012, that’s around 27 people every day.
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the ninth most common cancer in the UK (2012),
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours account for 3% of all new cases.
  • In men, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the 11th most common cancer in the UK, with around 4,800 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • In women, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the eighth most common cancer in the UK, with around 4,900 cases diagnosed in 2012.
  • A quarter (25%) of cases of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.
  • Around 380 children under the age of 15 are diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour in Britain each year. These are the second most common group of cancers diagnosed in children in Britain, accounting for more than a quarter (26%) of all childhood cancers.
  • Around 320 teenagers and young adults are diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour in the UK each year, and these form the fourth most common group of cancers in this age group in the UK, accounting for 14% of all cases.
  • Since the late-1970s, incidence rates of malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours have increased by around a third (34%) in Great Britain, though much of this trend is accounted for by improvements in diagnostics and data collection.
  • Over the last decade, incidence rates of malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours have remained stable in the UK.
  • Most malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the brain.
  • Most benign brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the meninges.
  • In Europe, around 57,100 new cases of brain and CNS cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 20th lowest in Europe for males and 11th lowest for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 256,000 brain and other CNS tumours were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
  • 1 in 74 people will be diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour during their lifetime.
  • There are presently no reliable data on the incidence of secondary brain, other CNS and intracranial cancers (which have spread to the brain from other parts of the body). Estimates suggest that secondary brain, other CNS and intracranial cancers occur in at least 6% of all cancer patients, but this varies by the site of the primary cancer.

Read more in-depth brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours incidence statistics

  • Around 5,200 people died from a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour in 2012 in the UK, that’s 14 people every day.
  • Around one-third of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour deaths are in people aged under 60.
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the most common cause of childhood death from cancer.
  • In Europe, around 45,000 people were estimated to have died from brain and CNS cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 20th lowest in Europe for males and 15th lowest in Europe for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 189,000 people were estimated to have died from brain and CNS cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.

Read more in-depth brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour mortality statistics

  • Around 3 in 20 (14%) people diagnosed with brain cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Around a fifth (19%) of people diagnosed with brain cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • 4 in 10 (40%) people diagnosed with brain cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Brain cancer survival is higher in men than women at one-year but similar at five- and ten-years.
  • Brain cancer survival is highest for people diagnosed aged under 40 years old.
  • 6 in 10 people diagnosed aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than 1 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over.
  • Brain cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, around 5 in 100 people diagnosed with brain cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's around 3 in 20.

Read more in-depth brain tumour survival statistics

  • Less than 1% of brain and other CNS cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A person’s risk of developing brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors.
  • The causes of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are not well understood, despite substantial research.
  • Ionising radiation causes brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours.
  • Non-ionising radiation e.g. from mobile phones may relate to higher brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour risk factors

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The latest statistics available for brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours in the UK are; incidence 2012, mortality 2012, and survival 2010-2011.

Statistics for brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours in children and teenagers and young adults are also provided.

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for incidence and mortality statistics for brain, other parts of the central nervous system and intracranial tumours are ICD-10 C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, and D44.3-D44.5. These codes are for primary tumours of the brain, meninges, spinal cord and other parts of the CNS, pineal gland, pituitary gland, or craniopharyngeal duct. They include all the brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours registerable by UK cancer registries, including malignant tumours (cancers), those of low grade, and those historically classed as non-invasive (the benign tumours, and those with uncertain or unknown behaviour). They include only tumours which have arisen in the brain, other CNS or intracranial region (i.e. only primary tumours). This tumour group is sometimes called simply ‘brain tumours’, but where we give 'brain tumours' figures they include ‘brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours’ unless otherwise specified.

Northern Ireland data excludes ICD-10 D33.7, D33.9, D43.7 and D43.9 (which are some tumours of other and unspecified parts of the CNS), because of known variation in coding practice.

The ICD code for survival statistics is for malignant brain cancer only, ICD-10 C71.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Primary CNS lymphomas (PCNSLs) are not included here but included in the statistics for Hodgkin lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma,because the site in which the lymphoma arises is not typically captured by cancer registries (although neuro-oncology services usually make the PCNSL diagnosis).

Cancers of the skull are included with bone cancers, not here.

There is a brief discussion of incidence of secondary brain cancers(cancers which have spread – also known as metastasised – to the brain from elsewhere in the body).

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are part of the group 'Brain and CNS tumours' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: peripheral nerves and autonomic nervous system, eye and adnexa, meninges, brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves and other parts of the CNS, and secondary cancers of brain and cerebral meninges and other and unspecified parts of nervous system.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Citation

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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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