Lung cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2014, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage lung cancer is of total cancer cases, 2014, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of lung cancer cases, 2012-2014, UK

Trend since 1970s

Lung cancer incidence rates have changed differently for each sex since the late 1970s, GB

 

Lung cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK (2014), accounting for 13% of all new cases. It is the second most common cancer in both males (14% of all male cases) and females (12% of all female cases).[1-4]

In 2014, there were 46,403 new cases of lung cancer in the UK: 24,769 (53%) in males and 21,634 (47%) in females, giving a male:female ratio of around 11:10.[1-4] The crude incidence rate Open a glossary item shows that there are 78 new lung cancer cases for every 100,000 males in the UK, and 66 for every 100,000 females.

The European age-standardised incidence rates Open a glossary item (AS rates) are significantly higher in Scotland compared with the other constituent countries of the UK for both males and females. There are no significant differences between the other constituent countries of the UK for either sex.[1-4]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014

England Wales Scotland Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 20,127 1,288 2,714 640 24,769
Crude Rate 75.2 84.7 104.5 70.9 77.9
AS Rate 91.6 91.9 122.6 95.0 94.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 90.3 86.8 117.9 87.6 93.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 92.8 96.9 127.2 102.3 95.5
Female Cases 17,326 1,095 2,639 574 21,634
Crude Rate 62.9 69.7 95.9 61.2 66.0
AS Rate 65.2 65.0 95.4 70.5 68.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 64.2 61.2 91.8 64.8 67.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 66.2 68.9 99.0 76.3 68.9
Persons Cases 37,453 2,383 5,353 1,214 46,403
Crude Rate 69.0 77.1 100.1 66.0 71.8
AS Rate 76.6 76.6 106.7 80.7 79.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 75.8 73.5 103.9 76.2 78.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 77.4 79.6 109.6 85.3 80.0

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, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. 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, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2014, ICD-10 C33-C34

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older males and females. In the UK in 2012-2014, on average each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) cases were diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 45-49 and peak in the 85-89 age group, and then subsequently drop. Incidence rates are higher for males than females in those aged 55-59 and over, with no significant sex differences in younger age groups. This gap is widest at age 90+, when the male: female ratio of age-specific incidence rates (to account for the different proportions of males to females in each age group) is around 21:10.[1-4]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2012-2014

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, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, May 2016. 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, June 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2016. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2012-2014, ICD-10 C33-C34

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence rates have decreased by 14% in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3]

For males, European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates decreased by 44% between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013, with most of that decrease occurring between 1979-1981 and 2002-2004. In contrast, female rates increased by 69% between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013.[1-3]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013), lung cancer AS incidence rates have increased by 4% for males and females combined, though this includes a decrease of 8% for males and an increase of 19% for females.[1-4]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2013

Lung cancer incidence trends reflect changing prevalence of risk factors, with recent incidence trends influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past. 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

Lung cancer incidence rates have decreased overall for all of the broad age groups in males in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] For males aged 80 and over lung cancer incidence rates increased by 13% between 1979-1981 and 1985-1987 and have since decreased by 28%. For males aged 70-79, the rate declined by 42% between 1979-1981 and 2007-2009, and has since remained stable. For males in all other age groups, rates have fallen almost continuously since the late 1970s, by 62%, 63% and 55% in the 25-49, 50-59 and 60-69 age groups, respectively, between 1979-1981and 2011-2013.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Age, Males, Great Britain, 1979- 2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Conversely, lung cancer incidence rates have increased overall for many of the broad age groups in females in Great Britain since the late 1970s.[1-3] For females aged 80 and over, lung cancer incidence rates have almost tripled since the late 1970s (184% increase between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013), and continue to increase. In the 70-79 age group, incidence rates have more than doubled since the late 1970s (116% increase between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013), though almost all of this increase took place before the late 1990s. Among females aged 60-69, rates increased by 39% overall between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013, with most of the increase occurring by the late 1980s, followed by a decrease during the 1990s and an increase since the early 2000s. Rates for females aged 25-49 and 50-59 have decreased by 23% and 7%, respectively, between 1979-1981 and 2011-2013.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Age, Females, Great Britain, 1979-2013

ASR calculated with ESP2013. Not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2015. Similar data can be found here:
    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2015. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, February 2015. Similar data can be found here:
    http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, March 2015. Similar data can be found here:
    http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerData/OnlineStatistics/.
  5. Office for National Statistics (ONS). Opinions and Lifestyle Survey 2013. London: ONS; 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/ghs/opinions-and-lifestyle-survey/index.html
  6. Smoking data prior to 1974 from Wald N, Nicolaides-Bouman A. UK Smoking Statistics. 1991: OUP.
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Staging completeness for lung cancer is high in England, with 90% of lung cancers recorded with a known stage at diagnosis in 2014.[1]

Lung Cancer (C34), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, England 2014

People diagnosed with lung cancer with a known stage most commonly present at stage IV (53%), in England. More people with a known stage are diagnosed at an advanced stage (75% diagnosed at stage III or IV) than an early stage (25% diagnosed at stage I or II).

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCIN; 2016.

About this data

Data is for: England, 2014, ICD-10 C34

Stage at diagnosis data is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past.

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.
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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]

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:

In the UK around 38,100 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with lung cancer.[1]

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 8,958 16,977 21,197
Female 6,844 13,692 16,944
Persons 15,802 30,669 38,141

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were nearly 1.68 million men and women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.[2]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence. London: NCIN; 2010.
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.
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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:

Cancer Statistics Explained

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