Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours statistics

Cases

New cases of brain tumours, 2013, UK

Deaths

Deaths from brain tumours, 2014, 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 10,600 new cases of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours in the UK in 2013, that’s 29 cases diagnosed every day.
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the eighth most common cancer in the UK (2013).
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours account for 3% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
  • In males in the UK, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the 10th most common cancer, with around 5,200 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • In females in the UK, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the eighth most common cancer, with around 5,500 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • Almost 6 in 10 (56%) brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in people aged 60 and over (2011-2013).
  • Since the late 1970s, brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (malignant only) incidence rates have increased by almost two-fifths (39%) in Great Britain. The increase is similar in males (40%, two-fifths) and females (36%, more than a third).
  • Over the last decade, brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (malignant, benign, and uncertain or unknown behaviour) incidence rates have increased by around a tenth (9%) in the UK, with a larger increase in females (12%) than in males (5%).
  • Most malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the brain.
  • Most benign brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the meninges.
  • 1 in 74 people will be diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour during their lifetime.
  • 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.
  • Brain cancer is more common in White people than in Asian or Black people.
  • In the UK more than 9,700 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with a tumour in the brain, or other parts of the CNS.
  • Brain tumours in England are less common in females living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for males.

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

  • There were around 5,200 brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s 14 deaths every day.
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the eighth most common cause of cancer death in the UK (2014).
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours account for 3% of all cancer deaths in the UK (2014).
  • In males in the UK, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the ninth most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,900 deaths in 2014.
  • In females in the UK, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the seventh most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,300 deaths in 2014.
  • Almost half (47%) of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours deaths in the UK each year are in people aged 70 and over (2012-2014).
  • Mortality rates for brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2012-2014).
  • Brain tumour deaths in England are not associated with deprivation.
  • 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 in England is highest for people diagnosed aged under 40 years old (2009-2013).
  • Around 6 in 10 people in England diagnosed with brain cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with only 1 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • 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.

See more in-depth brain cancer survival statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Less than 1% of brain and other CNS cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other 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.

See more in-depth brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours risk factors

  • ‘Two-week wait’, ‘31-day wait’ and ’62-day wait’ standards are met by all countries for brain and CNS tumours.
  • Almost 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • Almost 9 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

See more in-depth brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2014, and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

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.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for three time periods: 1996-2000, 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 and for mortality for two time periods: 2002-2006 and 2007-2011. The 1997-2001 mortality data were only used for the all cancers combined group as this time period includes the change in coding from ICD-9 to ICD-10. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

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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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