Laryngeal cancer statistics


New cases of laryngeal cancer, 2013, UK


Deaths from laryngeal cancer, 2012, UK


Survive laryngeal cancer for 10 or more years (males only), 2010-11, England and Wales


Preventable cases of laryngeal cancer, UK

  • There were around 2,300 new cases of laryngeal cancer in the UK in 2013, that’s more than 6 cases diagnosed every day.
  • Laryngeal cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
  • In males in the UK, laryngeal cancer is the 18th most common cancer, with around 1,900 cases diagnosed in 2013.
  • In females, there were around 400 cases of laryngeal cancer diagnosed in the UK in 2013.
  • 6 in 10 (60%) laryngeal cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in people aged 65 and over (2011-2013).
  • Since the late 1970s, laryngeal cancer incidence rates have decreased by around a twentieth (6%) in Great Britain, though this includes a decrease in males (three-twentieths, 15%) and stable rates in females. 
  • Over the last decade, laryngeal cancer incidence rates have remained stable in males and females combined in the UK, though this includes a decrease in males (7%) and stable rates in females.
  • Laryngeal cancer in England is more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • In  Europe, around 39,900 new cases of laryngeal cancer were estimated to have  been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is seventh lowest in Europe for  males and 15th highest for females.
  • Worldwide around 157,000 new cases of laryngeal cancer were estimated to have been  diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
  • 1 in 175 men and 1 in 800 women will be diagnosed with laryngeal cancer during their lifetime.

Read more in-depth laryngeal cancer incidence statistics

  • In 2012 around 780 people in the UK died from laryngeal cancer.
  • Over the last decade laryngeal cancer death rates in men have fallen by a quarter; in women, they have fallen by a sixth.
  • Around 8 in 10 laryngeal cancer deaths occur in men. In 2012, around 620 men died from laryngeal cancer, compared with around 170 women.
  • Laryngeal cancer deaths in England are more common in males living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for females.
  • Worldwide, around 83,400 people were estimated to have died from laryngeal cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
  • In Europe, around 19,800 people were estimated to have died from laryngeal cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is sixth lowest in Europe for males and 20th highest for females.

Read more in-depth laryngeal cancer mortality statistics

  • More than 6 in 10 (62%) men diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • 7 in 10 (70%) men diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Almost 9 in 10 (86%) men diagnosed with laryngeal cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Almost three-quarters of men in England diagnosed with laryngeal cancer aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with less than 6 in 10 men diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Laryngeal cancer survival is improving and has increased in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, around half of men diagnosed with laryngeal cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's more than 6 in 10.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, around 9 in 10 of men with laryngeal cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with more than 4 in 10 of people when diagnosed at the latest stage.

Read more in-depth laryngeal cancer survival statistics

  • 93% of laryngeal cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
  • A person’s risk of developing laryngeal cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • Smoking is the main avoidable risk factor for laryngeal cancer, linked to an estimated 79% of laryngeal cancer cases in the UK.
  • An estimated 93% of laryngeal cancers in the UK are linked to lifestyle factors including smoking, and alcohol (25%).
  • Certain occupational exposures cause laryngeal cancer.
  • A diet high in fruit and vegetables may protect against laryngeal cancer – insufficient fruit and vegetables intake is linked to an estimated 45% of laryngeal cancer cases in the UK.
  • HPV infection, environmental tobacco smoke, and certain medical conditions may relate to higher laryngeal cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.

Read more in-depth laryngeal cancer risk factors

  • Two-week wait' standards are met by all countries, '31-day wait' is met by all but Wales, and ‘62-day wait’ is not met by any country for head and neck cancers.
  • Almost 4 in 10 laryngeal cancer patients receive major surgical resection as part of their cancer treatment.
  • 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • More than 8 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.

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The latest statistics available for laryngeal  cancer in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

The ICD code Open a glossary item for laryngeal cancer is ICD-10 C32.

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 2010-2012 due to the small number of cases.

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. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Due to the small numbers of women diagnosed with laryngeal cancer each year, most of the survival data refers to males only.

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 Open a glossary item studies are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Laryngeal cancer is part of the group 'Head and Neck cancers' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: lip, tongue, gum, floor of mouth, palate, other and unspecified parts of mouth, parotid gland, salivary glands, tonsil, oropharynx, nasopharynx, piriform sinus, hypopharynx, other ill-defined site of lip, oral cavity and pharynx, nasal cavity and middle ear, accessory sinuses, larynx, thyroid and lymph nodes and other and ill-defined sites of the head, face and neck.

Cancer surgical resection rates data is for patients diagnosed in England between 2006 and 2010.

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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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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