Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours statistics

Cases

New cases of brain tumours, 2011, 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

  • Around 9,400 people were diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour in 2011 in the UK, that’s 26 people every day.
  • In the UK in 2011, around 4,700 males and around 4,700 females were diagnosed with a brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour.
  • Around three-quarters (76%) of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are diagnosed in people under 75 years old.
  • Around 400 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 (27%) of all childhood cancers.
  • Around 280 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.
  • In the UK in 2009-2011, more than half (58%) of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours were in the brain itself, and almost a quarter (23%) were in the meninges.
  • The most common types of brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours in England in 2006-2010 were astrocytomas (34%) and meningiomas (21%). Around 8 in 10 astocytomas were the very aggressive subtype glioblastoma.
  • 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.
  • 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

  • Malignant brain tumour survival has improved in the last forty years. In the early 1970s fewer than 2 in 10 people survived their disease for at least one year, now it’s 4 in 10.
  • Almost a fifth of malignant brain tumour patients are now likely to survive their disease for at least five years, and more than 1 in 10 survive for at least ten years.
  • Malignant brain tumour survival is higher for adults diagnosed at a younger age - 6 in 10 people diagnosed aged 15-39 survive their disease for at least five years, compared with less than 1 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80-99.
  • More than 7 in 10 children survive brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours (including malignant, benign, and unknown/uncertain) for at least five years.
  • More than 8 in 10 teenagers and young adults survive their brain, other CNS or intracranial tumour (including malignant, benign, and unknown/uncertain tumours) for at least five years.

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

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

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.

Citation

You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.

Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year]. 

Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK. 

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.

Rate this page:

No votes yet
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page