Lung cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2015, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage lung cancer is of total cancer cases, 2015, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of lung cancer cases, 2013-2015, UK

Trend over time

Lung cancer incidence rates have changed differently for each sex since the early 1990s, UK

Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all new cancer cases (2015).[1-4]

In males in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer (13% of all new male cancer cases). In females in the UK it is the 2nd most common cancer (12% of all new female cancer cases).

53% of lung cancer cases in the UK are in males, and 47% are in females.

Lung cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly higher than the UK average in Scotland, significantly lower than the UK average in England, and similar to the UK average in all other UK constituent countries.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2015

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 20,017 2,557 1,290 671 24,535
Crude Rate 74.1 98.0 84.6 73.8 76.5
AS Rate 89.4 113.4 90.6 98.4 91.8
AS Rate - 95% LCI 88.2 109.0 85.7 90.9 90.6
AS Rate - 95% UCI 90.7 117.8 95.6 105.8 92.9
Female Cases 17,620 2,487 1,177 569 21,853
Crude Rate 63.5 90.0 74.8 60.4 66.1
AS Rate 65.6 88.8 69.2 68.1 67.9
AS Rate - 95% LCI 64.7 85.3 65.3 62.5 67.0
AS Rate - 95% UCI 66.6 92.3 73.2 73.6 68.8
Persons Cases 37,637 5,044 2,467 1,240 46,388
Crude Rate 68.7 93.9 79.6 67.0 71.2
AS Rate 75.9 99.2 78.4 80.9 78.1
AS Rate - 95% LCI 75.1 96.5 75.3 76.4 77.4
AS Rate - 95% UCI 76.6 102.0 81.5 85.4 78.9

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item  around the AS Rate Open a glossary item
 

For lung cancer, like most cancer types, differences between countries largely reflect risk factor prevalence in years past.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, August 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2013-2015, on average each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 45-49. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for males and the 80 to 84 age group for females.

Incidence rates are significantly higher in males than females in a number of (mainly older) age groups. The gap is widest at age 90+, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.1 times higher in males than females.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2013-2015

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits Open a glossary item around the AS Rate Open a glossary item
 

For lung cancer, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. This largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors. A drop or plateau in incidence in the oldest age groups often indicates reduced diagnostic activity perhaps due to general ill health.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, August 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2013-2015, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for males and females combined decreased by 8% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For males, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK decreased by 31% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015. For females, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 28% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), lung cancer AS incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 3%.[1-4] In males AS incidence rates decreased by 10%, and in females rates increased by 18%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2015

Lung cancer incidence rates have decreased overall in all broad adult age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have decreased by 36%, in 50-59s have decreased by 41%, in 60-69s have decreased by 38%, in 70-79s have decreased by 30%, and in 80+s have decreased by 20%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1993-2015

Lung cancer incidence rates have increased overall in most broad adult age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in some.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have decreased by 13%, in 50-59s have increased by 13%, in 60-69s have increased by 12%, in 70-79s have increased by 27%, and in 80+s have increased by 80%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2015

For lung cancer, like most cancer types, incidence trends largely reflect changing prevalence of risk factors and improvements in diagnosis and data recording. Recent incidence trends are influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past, and trends by age group reflect risk factor exposure in birth cohorts.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34) European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates and Smoking Prevalence, Great Britain, 1948-2013

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, August 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2015, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Overall stage at diagnosis

A high proportion (85-95%) of lung cancer cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have stage at diagnosis recorded.[1-3]

Lung cancer patients with a known stage are most commonly diagnosed at stage IV (49-53%). More people with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (72-76% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (24-28% are diagnosed at stage I or II).[1-3]

The stage distribution for each cancer type will reflect many factors including how the cancer type develops, the way symptoms appear, public awareness of symptoms, how quickly a person goes to see their doctor and how quickly the cancer is recognised and diagnosed by a doctor. It might also relate to whether a national screening programme that can detect early stage disease exists for that cancer type, along with the extent of uptake of that programme.

A cancer type associated with a large proportion of early stage diagnoses could be one that is more likely to be symptomatic at an earlier stage of development, with recognisable symptoms rather than more generic ones.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England 2014, Scotland 2014-2015 and Northern Ireland 2010-2014

Data should not be compared between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in recording of stage at diagnosis.
 

Stage at diagnosis by deprivation

Late stage at diagnosis of lung cancer is not associated with deprivation in England.[4]

Stage at diagnosis by age

Late stage at diagnosis of lung cancer is more common in younger adults (aged 15-59) in England (81% diagnosed at stage III or IV) compared to older adults aged 80+ (77% diagnosed at stage III or IV) and adults aged 60-79 (76% diagnosed at stage III or IV).[4]

There are no differences between late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer between those aged 60-79 and 80+ in England.[4]

Stage at diagnosis by sex

Late stage at diagnosis of lung is associated with male sex in England. Among adults aged 15-99 in England, 78% of males are diagnosed at stage III or IV, versus 75% of females.[4]

These patterns by deprivation, age and sex are probably not explained  by other demographic differences.[5]

Stage at diagnosis by Ethnicity

Late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer in England is more common in Asian-Pakistani adults (75% diagnosed at stage III or IV) and Black Caribbean adults (71% diagnosed at stage III or IV), compared to White British adults (66% diagnosed at stage III or IV) after adjusting for age, sex and deprivation status.[6]

Late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer in England is less common in Asian-Indian adults (61% diagnosed at stage III or IV), compared to White British adults (75% diagnosed at stage III or IV) after adjusting for age, sex and deprivation status.[6]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCIN; 2016.
  2. ISD Scotland, Detect Cancer Early Staging Data. Scotland: ISD; 2016.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Queens University Belfast, Incidence by stage 2010-2014. Belfast: NICR; 2016.
  4. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Routes to diagnosis of cancer by stage 2012-2013 workbook. London: NCRAS; 2016.
  5. Lyratzopoulos G, Abel G, Brown C, et al. Socio-demographic inequalities in stage of cancer diagnosis: evidence from patients with female breast, lung, colon, rectal, prostate, renal, bladder, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Annals of Oncology, 2012:843-50.
  6. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Ethnicity and stage at diagnosis. London: NCRAS; 2016

About this data

Data is for: England 2014 ICD-10 C34, Scotland 2014-2015 and Northern Ireland 2010-2014, ICD-10 C33-C34 (overall stage at diagnosis) and England, 2012-2013, ICD-10 C33-C34 (stage at diagnosis by deprivation, age, sex, and ethnicity)

Data is not comparable between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in how countries record stage at diagnosis.

The proportions of patients diagnosed late only include cases with a known stage at diagnosis and are not adjusted for other demographics differences (e.g. age, sex, ethnicity) unless stated otherwise

Last reviewed:

10-15% of lung cancer cases are classified as small cell lung cancer (SCLC).[1] The remaining cases are classified as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). There are different types of NSCLC, including squamous cell carcinoma Open a glossary item and  adenocarcinoma Open a glossary item.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence rates are projected to fall by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 88 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger decrease for males than for females.

For males, lung cancer European age standardised (AS) incidence rates in the UK are projected to fall by 14% between 2014 and 2035, to 97 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by less than 1% between 2014 and 2035, to 80 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Lung cancer (C33-C34), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 62,832 cases of lung cancer (32,875 in males, 29,957 in females) will be diagnosed in the UK in 2035.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected), ICD-10 C33-C34

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

Last reviewed:

The lifetime risk of developing lung cancer is 1 in 13 for men and 1 in 17 for women, in 2012 in the UK.[1]

The lifetime risk for lung cancer has been calculated to account for the possibility that someone can have more than one diagnosis of lung cancer over the course of their lifetime (‘Adjusted for Multiple Primaries’ (AMP) method).[2]

References

  1. Lifetime risk estimates calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK. Based on data provided by the Office of National Statistics, ISD Scotland, the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit and the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, on request, December 2013 to July 2014.
  2. Sasieni PD, Shelton J, Ormiston-Smith N, et al. What is the lifetime risk of developing cancer?: The effect of adjusting for multiple primaries. Br J Cancer, 2011. 105(3): p. 460-5.
Last reviewed:

There is evidence for a strong association between lung cancer incidence and deprivation for both males and females in England.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item rates are 166% higher for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 173% higher for females.[1]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in lung cancer incidence between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010. It has been estimated that there would have been around 11,700 fewer lung cancer cases each year in England during 2006-2010 if all people experienced the same incidence rates as the least deprived.[1]

References

  1. Cancer Research UK and National Cancer Intelligence Network. Cancer by deprivation in England: Incidence, 1996-2010, Mortality, 1997-2011. London: NCIN; 2014.

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for 2006-2010. 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.

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White males with lung cancer range from 61.1 to 62.6 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 23.1 to 37.2 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 30.1 to 48.9 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 35.2 to 36.0 per 100,000, while rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower ranging from 6.9 to 12.4 per 100,000 and 8.5 to 15.1 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For lung cancer, 155,679 cases were identified; 23% had no known ethnicity.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer is the fourth most common cancer in Europe, with more than 410,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (12% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates for lung cancer are in Hungary for men and Denmark for women; the lowest rates are in Sweden for men and Ukraine for women. UK lung cancer incidence rates are estimated to be 7th lowest in males in Europe, and seventh highest in females.[1] These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.[2]

Lung cancer is the most common cancer worldwide, with nearly 1,825,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (13% of the total). Lung cancer incidence rates are highest in Northern America and lowest in Middle Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.[2]

Variation between countries may reflect different prevalence of risk factors, use of screening, and diagnostic methods.

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr, accessed December 2013.
  2. Ferlay J, Steliarova-Foucher E, Lortet-Tieulent J, et al.Cancer incidence and mortality patterns in Europe: Estimates for 40 countries in 2012. European Journal of Cancer (2013) 49, 1374-1403.
Last reviewed:

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