Cervical cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of cervical cancer, 2011, UK

Deaths

Deaths from cervical cancer, 2012, UK

Survival

Survive cervical cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Prevention

Preventable cases of cervical cancer, UK

  • Cervical cancer is the twelfth most common cancer in women in the UK and the third most common gynaecological cancer after uterus (womb) and ovary.
  • There were around 3,100 new cases of cervical cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2011that is more than 8 women every day.
  • Over three-quarters of all new cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed in women aged 25-64.
  • Cervical cancer is the most common cancer in females under 35 in the UK.
  • Cervical cancer incidence in Great Britain decreased by nearly half between the late 1980’s until the early 2000s, but the last decade has seen an increase in rates in younger women.
  • In Europe, around 58,400 new cases of cervical cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 12th lowest in Europe.
  • Worldwide, more than 527,000 women were diagnosed with cervical cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.

Read more in-depth cervical cancer incidence statistics

  • Around 920 women died from cervical cancer in 2012 in the UK, that is more than 2 every day.
  • More than half of cervical cancer deaths occur in women aged between 25 and 64.
  • Cervical cancer death rates have decreased by 71% in the UK since the early 1970s.
  • In Europe, around 24,400 women were estimated to have died from cervical cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is ninth lowest in Europe.
  • Worldwide, more than 265,000 women are estimated to have died from cervical cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.

Read more in-depth cervical cancer mortality statistics

  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Around two-thirds (67%) of women diagnosed with cervical cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • More than 8 in 10 (83%) women diagnosed with cervical cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Cervical cancer survival is highest for women diagnosed aged under 40 years old.
  • 9 in 10 women diagnosed aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with a quarter of women diagnosed aged 80 and over.
  • Cervical cancer survival is improving and has increased in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, almost half of women diagnosed with cervical cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's almost two-thirds.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, around 95% of women with cervical cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with 5 in 100 of women when diagnosed at the latest stage.

Read more in-depth cervical cancer survival statistics

  • 100% of cervical cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors
  • A woman’s risk of developing cervical cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • High-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the main potentially avoidable risk factor for cervical cancer, linked to an estimated 100% of cervical cancer cases in the UK. Some other factors may relate to cervical cancer risk partly because they are related to HPV.
  • Smoking, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and oral contraceptives cause cervical cancer.
  • ‘Low-risk’ HPV types may relate to higher cervical cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth cervical cancer risk factors

  • The NHS Cervical Screening Programme was set up in 1988 by the Department of Health.
  • Cervical screening can prevent around 45% of cervical cancer cases in women in their 30s, rising with age to 75% in women in their 50s and 60s, who attend regularly.
  • HPV vaccination in schools was introduced into the national immunisation programme in 2008, for girls aged 12-13.
  • GP referral (not ‘two week wait’) is the most common route to diagnosis of cervical cancer.
  • 'Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland, and ’62-day wait’ is met by all but Wales, Northern Ireland and only partly by Scotland for gynaecological cancers.

Read more information on cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment

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The latest statistics available for cervical cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.

The ICD code Open a glossary item for cervical cancer is ICD-10 C53.

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. 

Survival by stage is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past. Survival by stage is available for the former Anglia Cancer Network in the east of England, however. The former Anglia Cancer Network covers around 5% of the population of England and may not be representative of the country as a whole due to differences in underlying demographic factors (such as age, deprivation or ethnicity), as well as variation in local healthcare provision standards and policies.

Meta-analyses Open a glossary item and systematic reviews Open a glossary item are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort  studies Open a glossary item are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2006-2010.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Cervical cancer is part of the group 'Gynaecological cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, ovary, other female genital organs, placenta and secondary cancers of ovary.

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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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