Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of brain tumours, 2014, UK

Proportion of all cases

Percentage brain tumour is of total cancer cases, 2014, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of brain tumour cases, 2012-2014, UK

Trend over time

Change in brain tumour incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the ninth most common cancer in the UK (2014), accounting for 3% of all new cases. They are the 10 most common cancers in males (3% of all male cases) and the eighth most common in females (3% of all female cases).[1-4]

In 2014, 10,981 new brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour cases were registered in the UK 5,288 (48%) in males and 5,693 (52%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of around 9:10.[1-4] The crude incidence rate shows that there are 17 new brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour cases for every 100,000 males in the UK and 17 for every 100,000 females.[1-4]

The European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rate (AS rate) is significantly lower in England compared with Wales for both sexes. For males only, rates are significantly lower in England compared with Northern Ireland. For females only, rates are significantly lower in Scotland compared with Wales.[1-4] It is unknown whether this geographical variation is real or reflects differences in registration practices between the countries.

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 4,323 325 466 174 5,288
Crude Rate 16.1 21.4 17.9 19.3 16.6
AS Rate 17.9 22.3 19.6 22.8 18.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 17.4 19.8 17.9 19.4 17.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 18.4 24.7 21.4 26.2 18.9
Female Cases 4,615 403 505 170 5,693
Crude Rate 16.8 25.7 18.4 18.1 17.4
AS Rate 17.2 24.8 18.1 19.6 17.8
AS Rate - 95% LCL 16.7 22.3 16.5 16.7 17.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 17.7 27.2 19.7 22.6 18.2
Persons Cases 8,938 728 971 344 10,981
Crude Rate 16.5 23.5 18.2 18.7 17.0
AS Rate 17.5 23.5 18.8 21.0 18.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 17.1 21.8 17.6 18.8 17.7
AS Rate - 95% UCL 17.9 25.2 20.0 23.2 18.4

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS Rate Open a glossary item

For brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours, like most cancer types, differences between countries largely reflect risk factor prevalence in years past.

Under-recording of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours by cancer registries is possible, though there are presently no reliable data on the extent of this. Two small studies in the 1990s estimated that around 50% of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours went unrecorded in UK cancer registries;[5,6] however, the situation is now thought to have improved.[7,8] Fatal and/or heavily-treated cases are more likely to be captured by cancer registries (because data on these cases appear in multiple systems to which the registries have access, including death records). Thus, it is likely that non-fatal or conservatively-treated cases represent the majority of any unrecorded tumours.[5] The National Brain Tumour Registry for England has been set up to provide more detailed and consistent information in the future.[8,9]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  5. Pobereskin L. The Completeness Of Brain Tumour Registration In Devon And Cornwall. Eur J Epidemiol 2001;17(5):413-416.
  6. Counsell C, Collie D, Grant R. Limitations of using a cancer registry to identify incident primary intracranial tumours. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 1997;63:94-97.
  7. Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC), National Brain Tumour Registry.  Personal communication, February 2013.
  8. Data were provided by UK Cancer Registry representatives on request, 2008.
  9. National Cancer Intelligence Unit (NCIN). Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumours developing a national tumour registry. London: NCIN; 2011.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2014, ICD-10 C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5

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Incidence of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours is related to age, with the highest incidence rates overall being in older males and females. But in contrast to most cancer types, brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours also occur relatively frequently at younger ages.[1-4]

In the UK in 2012-2014, on average each year almost half (46%) of cases were diagnosed in people aged 65 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates remain relatively stable from infancy to around age 25-29, before increasing more sharply (particularly in males) with the highest rates in the 90+ age group. Incidence rates are significantly higher for males than for females in those aged between 60-64 and 75-79 (the gap is not significant in other age groups), and this gap is widest at the ages of 75-79, when the male:female ratio of age-specific incidence rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 12:10.[1-4]

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates, UK, 2012-2014

For brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. This largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors. A drop or plateau in incidence in the oldest age groups often indicates reduced diagnostic activity perhaps due to general ill health.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2012-2014, ICD-10 (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5)

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Brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumour incidence rates have increased by 30% in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-3] The increase is larger for females than for males, and is larger for benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours than for malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours. Between 1979-1981 and 1991-1993 in Great Britain there was a larger incidence increase for benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain tumours (42% increase in persons) than for malignant brain tumours (25% increase in persons).[1-3]

For males, European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates increased by 223% between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014. For females the rise has been larger, with rates increasing by 38% between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014.

For benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours European AS incidence rates increased by 64% (persons) between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014. For malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours, the rise has been smaller, with rates increasing by 8% (persons) between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2012-2014), brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours (malignant, benign, and uncertain or unknown behaviour) incidence rates have increased by 12% for males and females combined, with a larger increase in females (18%) than males (6%).[1-4] The increases are larger for benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours (20% increase in persons), than for malignant tumours (5% increase in persons).

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2014

Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour incidence rates have increased overall for all of the of the broad age groups in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-3] The largest increases have been in people aged 80+, with European AS incidence rates increasing by 115% between 1993-1995 and 2012-2014.[1-3].

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Age, UK, 1993-2014​

For brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours, like most cancer types, incidence trends largely reflect changing prevalence of risk factors and improvements in diagnosis and data recording. Recent incidence trends are influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past, and trends by age group reflect risk factor exposure in birth cohorts. Data on malignant tumours have been collected by UK cancer registries for many decades, but data on benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours were not consistently collected until the early 2000s. This means trends starting before the early 2000s are not reliable for benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2014, ICD-10 C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3 (malignant tumours), D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5 (benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour tumours).

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Most malignant brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the brain, with much smaller proportions in the meninges, endocrine glands Open a glossary item and other parts of the CNS (2010-2012).[1-4]  The proportion of cases in each part is similar between males and females.[1-4]

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding
 

In males, the largest proportion of benign brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the meninges, with  smaller proportions in the endocrine glands, brain and other parts of the CNS (2010-2012).[1-4

In females, most benign brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours occur in the meninges, with much smaller proportions in the endocrine glands, brain and other parts of the CNS (2010-2012).[1-4

The proportions of cases in the endocrine glands, brain and other CNS are higher in males (27.9%, 20.8% and 16.6%, respectively) than females (16.7%, 13.6% and 11.3%, respectively). In the meninges, the proportion is higher in females (58.4%) than in males (34.7%).[1-4]

A moderate proportion of cases did not have the specific site of the brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour recorded in cancer registry data, or overlapped more than one part.[1-4]

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

 

See also

Find out more about the counting and coding of this data

Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours incidence by tumour aggressiveness

Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours incidence by morphology

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.
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There are over 130 different types of tumour which can occur in the brain, other parts of the CNS or intracranial region.[1] The most common morphological types of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours recorded in England in 2006-2010 were astrocytomas (34%) and meningiomas (21%).[2] Around 80% of astrocytomas were the very aggressive subtype glioblastoma (WHO Grade IV). Almost all of the meningiomas were less aggressive (WHO Grade I). Most of the pituitary tumours were adenomas. There were 14% of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours recorded by registries as unknown or unspecified type; in many cases this may be because pathological samples (required to ascertain cell type) could not be obtained due to the location of the tumour.

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours, by Morphology, Proportion of Cases, England, 2006-2010

Morphological Group % of all Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour cases % of these more aggressive % of these less aggressive
Astrocytomas 34% 95% 5%
Meningiomas 21% 8% 92%
Pituitary 8% 1-2% 98-99%
Gliomas unspecified 6% * *
Cranial and paraspinal nerve tumours 6% 5% 95%
Oligodendrogliomas 3% * *
Ependymomas 2% 75% 25%
Embryonal tumours 2% 100% 0%
Other tumour types 5% * *
Unknown or unspecified type 14% * *

*Heterogeneous groups cannot be broken down by levels of aggressiveness. Data supplied by Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC) from the National Brain Tumour Registry.[2]

References

  1. Louis DN, Ohgaki H, Wiestler OD, Cavenee WK (eds). WHO Classification of tumours of the central nervous system. 4th ed. Lyon, France: IARC, 2007.
  2. Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC), National Brain Tumour Registry.  Personal communication, February 2013.
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Brain tumours incidence rates are projected to rise by 6% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 22 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a smaller increase for males than for females.

For males, brain tumours European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 5% between 2014 and 2035, to 22 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 8% between 2014 and 2035, to 22 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Brain tumours (C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 14,281 cases of brain tumours (6,884 in males, 7,397 in females) will be diagnosed in the UK in 2035.

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 C70-C72, C75.1-C75.3, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. 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

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The lifetime risk of developing a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour is 1 in 74 for men and 1 in 73 for women, in 2012 in the UK.[1]

The lifetime risk for brain, other CNS or intracranial tumours has been calculated to account for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of brain, other CNS or intracranial tumours over the course of their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on data provided by the Office of National Statistics, ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, December 2013 to July 2014.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5.
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There is evidence for a small association between brain, other CNS and intracranial tumour incidence and deprivation for females in England. This is one of the few cancers where incidence rates are lower for more deprived females. There is no evidence for an association between the incidence of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours and deprivation for males.[1]

England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates are 12% lower for females living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, while for males the rates are similar for those living in the least and most deprived areas.[1]

Brain, Other CNS and Intracranial Tumours (C70-C72,C751-3,D32-D33,D352-4,D42-D43,D443-5), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in brain, CNS and intracranial tumour incidence between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010.[1]

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Age-standardised rates Open a glossary item for White males with brain cancer (ICD-10 C70-C72 only) range from 8.2 to 8.7 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males significantly lower, ranging from 4.0 to 6.5 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 2.9 to 5.4 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 5.3 to 5.6 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower, ranging from 2.4 to 4.3 per 100,000 and 2.1 to 4.1 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For brain and CNS cancer, 19,012 cases were identified; 17% had no known ethnicity.

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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 (C70-C72).[1]

Brain and other parts of CNS (C70-C72), One-, Five- and Ten- Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 1,448 3,633 5,456
Female 986 2,650 4,252
Persons 2,434 6,283 9,708

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were around 317,000 patients with these tumours were still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis of brain or other CNS tumour (C70-C72).[2]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN). One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010.
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. DM GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
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There are presently no reliable data on the incidence of secondary brain, other CNS and intracranial cancers – tumours which have metastasised (spread) to these sites from elsewhere in the body. In some patients, brain, other CNS and intracranial metastases may not manifest clinically in the patient’s lifetime, or a formal diagnosis may not be obtained if the patient is extremely unwell with their primary cancer. Therefore current estimates of the number of secondary tumours are thought to be conservative.[1] However, data collection is improving, and in coming years it should be possible to report national data for the number of cancers in the brain, other CNS and intracranial region which started elsewhere in the body.[2]

The best current estimate is that secondary brain cancers occur in at least 6% of all cancer patients, with marked variation by primary cancer site.[1] The proportion ranges from less than 1% of patients with thyroid, liver, stomach, prostate, uterine or ovarian cancers, to 20% of those with lung cancer.[1,3] Based on this estimate, metastatic brain tumours are thought to outnumber primary malignant brain tumours by at least three to one.[1]

References

  1. Davis FG, Dolecek TA, McCarthy BJ, et al. Toward determining the lifetime occurrence of metastatic brain tumors estimated from 2007 United States cancer incidence data. Neuro-Oncology 2012;14(9):1171-77.
  2. Eastern Cancer Registry and Information Centre (ECRIC), National Brain Tumour Registry.  Personal communication, February 2013.
  3. Barnholtz-Sloan JS, Sloan AE, et al. Incidence proportions of brain metastases in patients diagnosed (1973 to 2001) in the Metropolitan Detroit Cancer Surveillance System. J Clin Oncol 2004;22(14):2865-72.
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Brain and other CNS cancer (C70-C72 only) are the 17th most common cancer type in Europe, with around 57,100 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (2% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates for brain and other CNS cancer are in Albania for men and Sweden for women; the lowest rates are in Cyprus for men and Luxembourg for women. UK incidence rates of brain and other CNS cancer are estimated to the 20th lowest in males in Europe, and 11th lowest in females.[1] These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.[2]

Brain and other CNS cancer (C70-C72 only) are the 17th most common cancer type worldwide, with more than 256,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (2% of the total). Incidence rates for brain and other CNS cancer are highest in Northern Europe and lowest in Western Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.[1]

References

  1.  Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al.Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403.
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