- In the UK in 2011 around 2,700 people were diagnosed with thyroid cancer, that’s more than 7 every day.
- Thyroid cancer is more common in women than men. Around two-and-a-half times as many women are diagnosed as men.
- In 2011, around 1,960 women and 770 men in the UK were diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
- Almost half of all cases of thyroid cancer in the UK are diagnosed in people aged under 50, with the under-50s accounting for a higher proportion of female cases (52%) than male cases (40%).
- Thyroid cancer incidence rates have around doubled in males and more than doubled in females since the 1990s.
- In Europe, around 53,000 new cases of thyroid cancer were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 11th lowest in Europe for males and 15th lowest for females.
- Worldwide, around 298,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
Thyroid cancer statistics
New cases of thyroid cancer, 2011, UK
Deaths from thyroid cancer, 2012, UK
Preventable cases of thyroid cancer, UK
- In 2012, around 370 people in the UK died from thyroid cancer.
- In the UK in 2012 230 women and around 140 men died from thyroid cancer.
- Thyroid cancer mortality rates in women in the UK have more than halved in the last 40 years. In men they have fallen by almost a third.
- In Europe, around 6,300 people were estimated to have died from thyroid cancer in 2012. The UK mortality rate is sixth lowest in Europe for males and ninth lowest for females.
- Worldwide, around 37,800 people were estimated to have died from thyroid cancer in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
- Less than 1% of thyroid cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
- A person’s risk of developing thyroid cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
- An estimated 1% of thyroid cancer cases in the UK are caused by ionising radiation.
- Overweight and obesity, being taller, and certain medical conditions may relate to higher thyroid cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.
- Vegetables and fish may relate to lower thyroid cancer risk, but evidence is unclear.
- '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.
The latest statistics available for thyroid cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012. Reliable survival data for the UK is currently not available.
Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Thyroid 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.
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