Cervical cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

Routes to diagnosis

'GP referral' is the most common route to diagnosing cervical cancer

Screening Uptake

Women who have cervical screening when eligible, GB

 

Surgery Rate

Cervical cancer patients receiving major surgical resection, 2006-10, England

 

Patient Experience

Cervical cancer patients rating their care very good or excellent, 2014, England

Almost a third (31%) of cervical cancer cases in England are diagnosed following a routine or urgent GP referral (but not under the two-week wait referral route).[1]

Around a quarter (24%) of cervical cancer cases in England are detected by screening. This proportion of is high compared to the average across all cancer types.[1]

Around a fifth (21%) of cervical cancer cases in England are diagnosed via the ‘two-week wait’ referral route. This proportion of is low compared to the average across all cancer types.[1]

A tenth (10%) of cervical cancer cases in England are diagnosed after presenting as an emergency.[1]  Around two thieds (65%) of emergency presentation cases are via Accident and Emergency (A&E), with the other cases coming via an emergency GP referral, inpatient referral or outpatient referral [2].

There are variations in routes to diagnosis by sex, age, deprivation and ethnicity.[3]

Cervical Cancer (C53), Percentage of Cases by Route to Diagnosis, Adults Aged 15-99, England, 2012-2013

Last reviewed:

'14-day / Two-week wait'

England meets the standard for their country on the percentage of patients first seen by a specialist within two weeks of urgent GP referral for suspected cancer.[1]

'Two-week wait' supports early diagnosis as spotting cancer early is important for improving survival, so it is important that patients with potential cancer symptoms are referred promptly.

'31-day wait'

Scotland meets the standard for their country on the percentage of patients that receive their first cancer treatment within 31 days of a decision to treat, while Northern Ireland and Wales do not meet the standard for their country.[2-4]

The speed at which patients receive their first treatment can have a positive outcome on their clinical outcome, so it is important that patients with cancer symptoms are treated promptly.

'62-day wait'

Scotland meets the standard for their country on the percentage of patients receiving their first definitive treatment for cancer within two months of a GP referral for suspected ovarian cancer, while Wales and Northern Ireland do not meet the standard for their country for gynaecological cancers and Scotland does not meet the standard for their country for cervical cancer.[2-4]

The speed at which patients receive their first treatment can have a positive outcome on their clinical outcome, so it is important that patients with cancer symptoms are treated promptly.

Cancer waiting times coding and standards are different in each country and so comparisons should not be made between countries, only each country against their own measures.

Gynaecological Cancer, Waiting Times, UK countries, 2014-15

    England Wales Scotland (cervical cancer only) Scotland (ovarian cancer only) Northern Ireland
'14-day wait': seen by specialist following referral Performance 95.1%        
Standard 93%        
Performance against standard Meets standard        
'31-day wait': receipt of first treatment following decision to treat Performance   97.8% 97.3% 98.8% 96.3%
Standard   98% 95% 95% 98%
Performance against standard   Does not meet standard Meets standard Meets standard Does not meet standard
'62-day wait': receipt of first treatment following referral Performance   81.6% 94.0% 95.0% 70.3%
Standard   95% 95% 95% 95%
Performance against standard   Does not meet standard Meets standard Meets standard Does not meet standard

Data not available for '14-day wait' in Wales, Scotland or NI.
Data not available for '31- or 62-day wait' in England.
Data for Scotland is for cervical cancer and ovarian cancer only, and separately.

References

  1. NHS England. Cancer waiting times(link is external).Accessed May 2015.
  2. StatsWales. Cancer waiting times(link is external). Accessed May 2015. 
  3. ISD Scotland. Cancer Waiting Times(link is external). Accessed June 2015. 
  4. Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety. Cancer Waiting Times(link is external). Accessed June 2015.
Last reviewed:

Almost 4 in 10 (37%) cervical cancer patients receive a major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.[1

The proportion of cervical cancer patients receiving a resection varies with age, with fewer resections in the oldest age group (5% in those aged 85+) compared with the youngest (45% in those aged 15-54).[1]

Cervical cancer (C53), Proportion of Patients Receiving a Major Surgical Resection, by Age, England, 2006-2010

 

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Major resections by cancer site, in England; 2006 to 2010 workbook (Version 2.0 - reissued June 2015). London: NCIN; 2015.
Last reviewed:

86% of cervical cancer patients rate their care as ‘excellent’ or ‘very good’.[1] Patient experience varies with individual needs and concerns, which are influenced by many aspects of personal background, disease characteristics and the care environment.

90% of patients were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist in charge of their care.[1] Being given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist in charge of a patients’ care is the factor most likely to be associated with high patient satisfaction scores.[2]

63% said they saw their GP once or twice before being told they had to go to hospital.[1] How often a patient sees their GP before being referred to hospital varies by cancer type depending on ease of diagnosis.[3]

For cervical cancer the proportion that said they saw their GP once or twice before being told they had to go to hospital is similar to the average for all cancer patients.[1]

Spotting cancer early is important for improving survival so it is important that patients with potential cancer symptoms are referred for tests promptly.

Cervical Cancer (C53), Patient Experience Survey, by Sex, England, 2014

Female
Percentage of patients treated for cancer who visited their GP once or twice about the health problem caused by their cancer 62.9%
Percentage of patients treated for cancer who said they were given the name of a Clinical Nurse Specialist in charge of their care 90.4%
Percentage of patients treated for cancer who rated their overall care as excellent or very good 86.1%

Last reviewed:

Around 7 in 10 (70-73%) of women aged 25-64 in Great Britain (20-60 in Scotland) who are eligible for cervical screening have an adequate (with a definitive usable result) test within the timeframe appropriate for their age and country of residence (FY2014/15).[1-3] Comparable data for Northern Ireland are not publicly available (only 5-year coverage is published though women aged 25-49 are invited for screening every 3 years, and those aged 50-64 are invited every 5 years).[4] Eligible age groups and frequency of invitation to screening vary between the UK constituent nations so comparison is inadvisable.

Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage in England and Wales is lower for women aged 25-49 (71-72%, 3-yearly screening invitation) than those aged 50-64 (76-78%, 5-yearly screening invitation) (FY2014/15).[1-2]

Cervical Screening Coverage, Women aged 25-64, Great Britain, FY 2014/15

Country Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage (% of eligible women with adequate test within timeframe appropriate for their age and country of residence)
England (3-yearly screening at age 25-49, 5-yearly screening at age 50-64) 73.5
Wales (3-yearly screening at age 25-49, 5-yearly screening at age 50-64) 73.4
Scotland (3-yearly screening at age 20-60) 70.4

Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage in England and Wales does not meet the minimum standard of 80% set by the Department of Health.[5,6] Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage within England is lowest in the London reporting region (68%) and highest in the East Midlands (76%) (FY2014/15).[1]

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2014-2015. London: HSCIC; 2015.
  2. Cervical Screening Wales. Cervical Screening Wales Annual Statistical Report 2014-15. Cardiff: Public Health Wales; 2015.
  3. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Scottish Cervical Screening Programme Statistics 2014/15. Edinburgh: ISD Scotland; 2015.
  4. Northern Ireland Cervical Screening Programme. Cervical Screening Factsheet. Belfast: Public Health Agency; 2015.
  5. Department of Health and Public Health England. NHS public health function agreement 2015-16. Service specification no.25 Cervical Screening. London: Department of Health; 2014.
  6. Public Health Wales. Screening Division of Public Health Wales, Annual Report, December 2014. Cardiff: Public Health Wales; 2014.
Last reviewed:

Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage peaks in England at age 50-54, and in Scotland at age 45-49 (FY2014/15).[1,2] Comparable data for women aged 25-49 in Wales and Northern Ireland are not publicly available (only 5-year coverage is published though women of this age are invited for screening every 3 years).[3,4]

Cervical Screening Coverage by Age at Test, Women, UK, FY2014/15

Blank cells indicate no data available

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2014-2015. London: HSCIC; 2015.
  2. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Scottish Cervical Screening Programme Statistics 2014/15. Edinburgh: ISD Scotland; 2015.
  3. Cervical Screening Wales. Cervical Screening Wales Annual Statistical Report 2014-15. Cardiff: Public Health Wales; 2015.
  4. Northern Ireland Cervical Screening Programme. Cervical Screening Factsheet. Belfast: Public Health Agency; 2015.
Last reviewed:

Among women aged 25-49 in England and women aged 20-60 in Scotland, age-appropriate cervical screening coverage fell between FY2004/05 and FY2007/08, then rose and plateaued for several years (probably partly due to the death of young celebrity from cervical cancer[1]), before starting to fall again in recent years.[2,3] Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage among women in England aged 50-64 has fallen steadily since FY2003/04.[1,2] Comparable data for Wales and Northern Ireland are not publicly available (only 5-year coverage is published though women aged 25-49 are invited for screening every 3 years, and those aged 50-64 are invited every 5 years).[4,5]

Cervical Screening Coverage, Women, Great Britain, FY2004/05-FY2014/15

Blank cells indicate no data available

References

  1. Lancucki L, Sasieni P, Patnick J, et al. The impact of Jade Goody's diagnosis and death on the NHS Cervical Screening Programme. J Med Screen 2012;19(2):89-93.
  2. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2014-2015. London: HSCIC; 2015.
  3. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Scottish Cervical Screening Programme Statistics 2014/15. Edinburgh: ISD Scotland; 2015.
  4. Cervical Screening Wales. Cervical Screening Wales Annual Statistical Report 2014-15. Cardiff: Public Health Wales; 2015.
  5. Northern Ireland Cervical Screening Programme. Cervical Screening Factsheet. Belfast: Public Health Agency; 2015.
Last reviewed:

More than 9 in 10 (91-94%) women aged 25-64 (20-60 in Scotland) who have an adequate (analysable) cervical screening test in Great Britain, have a negative (normal) result (FY2014/15).[1-3]

6-7% of women aged 25-64 who have an adequate cervical screening test in England or Wales, have an abnormality detected (FY2014/15).[1,2] The majority of these abnormalities are low-grade (borderline and low-grade dyskaryosis) rather than high-grade (high-grade dyskaryosis, moderate or severe; high-grade dyskaryosis/possible invasive squamous carcinoma; or possible glandular neoplasia; (endocervical) (FY2014/15).[1,2] In Scotland the proportion of tested women with an abnormality detected is slightly higher (9%) (FY2014/15).[3] The proportion of tested women who have an abnormality detected decreases with age.[1] In Scotland, but not England or Wales, women aged 20-24 are screened, which may explain Scotland’s higher rate of abnormality detection.

Rates of abnormality detection through cervical screening among women aged 25-64 in England and Wales peaked in FY2009/10 and have since fallen slightly.[1,2] Rates of abnormality detection through cervical screening among women aged 20-60 in Scotland have risen steadily since FY2005/06.[3]

Results of Adequate Cervical Screens, Women aged 25-64, Great Britain, FY2004/05-FY2014/15

Blank cells indicate no data available
 

Cervical cancer is found in around 1 per 1,000 (0.1%) women in England with a low-grade abnormality detected at screening and positive human papillomavirus (HPV) test (2014).[1] Cervical cancer is found in around 30 per 1,000 (3%) women in England with a high-grade abnormality detected at screening (2014).[1]

References

  1. Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). Cervical Screening Programme, England - 2014-2015. London: HSCIC; 2015.
  2. Cervical Screening Wales. Cervical Screening Wales Annual Statistical Reports 2004-05 to 2014-15. Cardiff: Public Health Wales; 2005-2015.
  3. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Scottish Cervical Screening Programme Statistics 2014/15. Edinburgh: ISD Scotland; 2015.
Last reviewed:

Around 4,500 cervical cancer deaths are prevented each year in the UK by cervical screening, it is estimated.[1]

Cervical cancer 3-year relative survival is higher among people diagnosed via screening than those diagnosed via any other route, data for 2006-2013 show.[2]

Screened women in the UK aged 35-64 have a 60-80% lower risk of being diagnosed with cervical cancer in the five years following their screening, compared with unscreened women, it is estimated.[3] The benefit of screening on cervical cancer risk increases with age.[3]

The incidence of abnormal cervical screening results is much higher than the incidence of cervical cancer. This is probably due to a combination of some identified abnormalities failing to progress to cancer (overdiagnosis), and some tests erroneously being assessed as abnormal (false positive Open a glossary item).[4] Treatment following an abnormal cervical screening result may be associated with problems during pregnancy, though these problems may also relate to the cervical changes themselves.[5] Conversely, sometimes cervical changes are not identified through screening (false negative Open a glossary item).

Last reviewed:

Cancer Statistics Explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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. 

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page