Oesophageal cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of oesophageal cancer, 2015, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

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

 

Age

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

 

Trend over time

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

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

In males in the UK, oesophageal cancer is the 9th most common cancer (3% of all new male cancer cases). In females in the UK it is the 15th most common cancer (2% of all new female cancer cases).

68% of oesophageal cancer cases in the UK are in males, and 32% are in females.

Oesophageal 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 Northern Ireland, and similar to the UK average in all other UK constituent countries.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), 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 5,206 596 317 129 6,248
Crude Rate 19.3 22.8 20.8 14.2 19.5
AS Rate 22.8 26.1 22.1 17.9 22.9
AS Rate - 95% LCI 22.2 24.0 19.7 14.8 22.3
AS Rate - 95% UCI 23.4 28.2 24.6 21.0 23.5
Female Cases 2,400 325 163 75 2,963
Crude Rate 8.6 11.8 10.4 8.0 9.0
AS Rate 8.7 11.4 9.5 8.7 9.0
AS Rate - 95% LCI 8.4 10.2 8.1 6.8 8.7
AS Rate - 95% UCI 9.1 12.7 11.0 10.7 9.3
Persons Cases 7,606 921 480 204 9,211
Crude Rate 13.9 17.1 15.5 11.0 14.1
AS Rate 15.3 18.1 15.4 13.1 15.4
AS Rate - 95% LCI 14.9 16.9 14.0 11.3 15.1
AS Rate - 95% UCI 15.6 19.2 16.7 14.9 15.8

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 oesophageal 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 C15.

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal 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 around 4 in 10 (41%) 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 90+ 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 45 to 49, when the age-specific incidence rate is 3.5 times higher in males than females.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), 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 oesophageal 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 C15.

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 6% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For males, oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 10% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015. For females, oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates in the UK decreased by 9% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates for males and females combined remained stable.[1-4] In males AS incidence rates remained stable, and in females rates decreased by 5%.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2015

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates have increased overall in some broad adult age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s, but have remained stable in others.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have remained stable, in 50-59s have increased by 13%, in 60-69s have increased by 21%, in 70-79s have increased by 7%, and in 80+s have remained stable.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1993-2015

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates have remained stable overall in some broad adult age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in others.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have remained stable, in 50-59s have remained stable, in 60-69s have remained stable, in 70-79s have decreased by 11%, and in 80+s have decreased by 11%.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2015

For oesophageal 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.

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 C15.

Last reviewed:

Overall diagnosis by stage

A moderate to high proportion (65-81%) of oesophageal cancer cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have a stage at diagnosis recorded.[1-3]

Oesophageal cancer patients with a known stage are most commonly diagnosed at stage IV in Northern Ireland (42%). More patients with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (70-80% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (21-30% are diagnosed at stage I or II). Between 37% and 42% of patients have metastases at diagnosis (stage IV).[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.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England 2014, Scotland 2014 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.

References

  1. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCRAS; 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.

About this data

Data is for: England 2014, Scotland 2014, Northern Ireland 2010-2014, ICD-10 C15

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

Last reviewed:

The largest proportion of oesophageal cancer cases occur in the lower third of the oesophagus, with much smaller proportions in the middle and upper thirds (2010-2012).[1-4]

The proportion of cases in the lower third is higher in males (49.0%) than females (33.7%), whereas in the middle third there is a higher proportion in females (20.8%) than in males (10.7%). There are no marked sex differences in other parts of the oesophagus.[1-4]

A large proportion of cases did not have the specific part of the oesophagus recorded in cancer registry data, or overlapped more than one part.[1-4]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. 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 2014. 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, April 2014. 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, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2010-2012, ICD-10 C15.

Last reviewed:

There are two main histological types of oesophageal cancer: squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) Open a glossary item and adenocarcinoma (AC) Open a glossary item. While ICD-10 codes specify the anatomical location of the tumour, histological types within that location are distinguished using ICD-O morphology codes: SCC is ICD-O M805-M808, and AC is ICD-O M814-M838. 

SCC accounted for more than a quarter (28%) of all oesophageal cancer cases, while AC accounted for more than half (55%) in England in 2008-2010.[1] In the upper and middle sections of the oesophagus most cases (62%) were SCC, while in the lower section most cases (70%) were AC, in England in 2008-2010. Tobacco use increases the risk of both SCC and AC. SCC is also strongly linked with alcohol consumption, while AC is linked with excess body weight, and long-term acid reflux (which can lead to the pre-cancerous condition Barrett’s oesophagus).

The male:female incidence rate ratio for oesophageal cancer as a whole is 27:10. However, the male:female incidence rate ratio for AC is higher, around 52:10 and the male:female incidence rate ratio for SCC is lower, around 11:10.[1]

European age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) incidence rates for SCC have remained stable for both males and females in England between 1995-1997 and 2008-2010. For males, AC rates have increased by 52% in this period, from 6.2 to 9.4 per 100,000 males. For females the rise in this period is smaller, with rates increasing by 32%, from 1.4 to 1.8 per 100,000 females.[1] This reflects the incidence trends observed in most western countries since the 1970s, where SCC rates have remained stable or decreased, while AC rates have increased, particularly in men.[2]

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates are projected to fall by 3% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 18 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes an increase for females and a drop for males.

For males, oesophageal cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to fall by 6% between 2014 and 2035, to 25 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 1% between 2014 and 2035, to 11 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Oesophageal cancer (C15), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 12,657 cases of oesophageal cancer (8,366 in males, 4,292 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 C15

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 oesophageal cancer is 1 in 55 for men and around 1 in 115 for women, in 2012 in the UK.[1]

The lifetime risk for oesophageal cancer has been calculated on the assumption that the possibility of having more than one diagnosis of oesophageal cancer over the course of a lifetime is very low (‘Current Probability’ 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. Esteve J, Benhamou E and Raymond L. Descriptive epidemiology. IARC Scientific Publications No.128, Lyon, International Agency for Research on Cancer, pp 67-68 1994.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2012, ICD-10 C15.

Lifetime risk estimates were calculated using incidence, mortality, population and all-cause mortality data for 2012.

Last reviewed:

There is evidence for an association between oesophageal 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 incidence rates are 59% higher for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 50% higher for females.[1]

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in oesophageal cancer incidence between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has widened for males in the period 1996-2010, but it has not changed for females.[1] It has been estimated that there would have been around 1,200 fewer 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.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2006-2010, ICD-10 C15

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 rates Open a glossary item for White males with oesophageal cancer range from 13.9 to 14.4 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 3.6 to 6.1 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 6.0 to 10.2 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 5.5 to 5.7 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 per 100,000 and 2.1 to 4.5 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For oesophageal cancer, 31,517 cases were identified; 16% had no known ethnicity.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006 2009

About this data

Data is for England, 2012, ICD-10 C15

Last reviewed:

An estimated 15,600 people who had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer between 1991 and 2010 were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.[1]

References

  1. Macmillan Cancer Support and National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Cancer Prevalence UK Data Tables. London: NCRAS; 2015.

About this data

Data is for: Great Britain (1991-2010) and Northern Ireland (1993-2010), ICD-10 C77-C80

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal cancer is the 19th most common cancer in Europe, with around 45,900 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (1% of the total). In Europe (2012), the highest World age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) incidence rates for oesophageal cancer are in the Netherlands for men and the UK for women; the lowest rates are in Macedonia for men and the Republic of Moldova for women. UK oesophageal cancer incidence rates are estimated to be the second highest in males in Europe.[1] These data are broadly in line with Europe-specific data available elsewhere.[2]

Oesophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, with nearly 456,000 new cases diagnosed in 2012 (3% of the total). Oesophageal cancer incidence rates are highest in Eastern Asia and lowest in Western Africa, but this partly reflects varying data quality worldwide.[1]

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.

About this data

Data is for Europe and worldwide, 2012, ICD-10 C15

Last reviewed:

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