Liver cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of liver cancer, 2015, UK

Deaths

Deaths from liver cancer, 2016, UK

Preventable cases

Liver cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 5,700 new liver cancer cases in the UK every year, that's 16 every day (2013-2015).
  • Liver cancer is the 18th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 2% of all new cancer cases (2015).
  • In males in the UK, liver cancer is the 15th most common cancer, with around 3,700 new cases in 2015.
  • In females in the UK, liver cancer is the 20th most common cancer, with around 2,100 new cases in 2015.
  • Incidence rates for liver cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2013-2015).
  • Since the early 1990s, liver cancer incidence rates have increased by around two-and-a-half times (151%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around two-and-a-half times (152%), and rates in females have increased by more than two times (132%).
  • Over the last decade, liver cancer incidence rates have increased by almost two-thirds (63%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around two-thirds (65%), and rates in females have increased by more than half (53%).
  • Most liver cancers occur in the liver cells and the intrahepatic bile ducts.
  • Incidence rates for liver cancer are projected to rise by 38% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 15 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • 1 in 105 men and 1 in 195 women will be diagnosed with liver cancer during their lifetime.
  • Liver cancer in England is more common in males living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for females.
  • Liver cancer is more common in Asian and Black people than White people.
  • An estimated 5,000 people who had previously been diagnosed with liver cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.
  • In Europe, around 63,500 new cases of liver cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 14th lowest in Europe for males and 17th lowest for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 782,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with liver cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.

See more in-depth liver cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 5,200 liver cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 14 every day (2014-2016).
  • Liver cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 3% of all cancer deaths (2016).
  • In males in the UK, liver cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer death, with around 3,300 deaths in 2016.
  • In females in the UK, liver cancer is the 11th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,100 deaths in 2016.
  • Mortality rates for liver cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1970s, liver cancer mortality rates have around tripled (209%) in the UK. Rates in males have around tripled (202%), and rates in females have increased by almost three times (199%).
  • Over the last decade, liver cancer mortality rates have increased by almost three-fifths (55%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around half (51%), and rates in females have increased by almost three-fifths (58%).
  • Mortality rates for liver cancer are projected to rise by 58% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 16 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Liver cancer deaths in England are more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • In Europe, around 62,200 people were estimated to have died from liver cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 11th lowest in Europe for males and 17th lowest for females.
  • Worldwide, an estimated 745,000 people were estimated to have died from liver cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.

See more in-depth liver cancer mortality statistics

  • Around a quarter of people in England diagnosed with liver cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Five-year relative survival for liver cancer in men is below the European average in England and Scotland but similar to the European average in Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Five-year relative survival for liver cancer in women is below the European average in England and Scotland but similar to the European average in Wales.

See more in-depth liver cancer survival statistics

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 49% of liver cancer cases in the UK are preventable.
  • 10% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by infections.
  • 20% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.
  • 7% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by alcohol drinking.
  • 23% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by overweight and obesity.
  • Less than 1% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.

See more in-depth liver cancer risk factors

  • 'Emergency presentation' is the most common route to diagnosing liver 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 not met by any country for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
  • 20% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 4% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 24% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have chemotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.

See more in-depth liver cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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The latest statistics available for liver cancer in the UK are; incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival 2009-2013 (by age). Reliable survival data for trends over time in the UK is not available.

The ICD code Open a glossary item for liver cancer is ICD-10 C22.

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 2012 for males and 2010-2012 for females 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 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. If you are a patient, please see our patient information.

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 2012-2013.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Liver cancer is part of the group 'Upper Gastrointestinal cancer' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: oesophagus, stomach, liver, gallbladder, other and unspecified parts of biliary tract, pancreas, secondary cancers of liver, intrahepatic bile duct and duodenum.

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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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.

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