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Thyroid cancer statistics
New cases of thyroid cancer, 2013, UK
Deaths from thyroid cancer, 2014, UK
Preventable cases of thyroid cancer, UK
- There were around 3,200 new cases of thyroid cancer in the UK in 2013, that’s around 9 cases diagnosed every day.
- Thyroid cancer is the 19th most common cancer in the UK (2013).
- Thyroid cancer accounts for less than 1% of all new cases in the UK (2013).
- In males in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer, with around 880 cases diagnosed in 2013.
- In females in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 17th most common cancer, with around 2,400 cases diagnosed in 2013.
- More than half (52%) of thyroid cancer cases in the UK each year are diagnosed in people aged 50 and over (2011-2013).
- Since the late 1970s, thyroid cancer incidence rates have more than doubled (149% increase) in Great Britain. The increase is larger in females (164% increase) than in males (152% increase).
- Over the last decade, thyroid cancer incidence rates have increased by more than two-thirds (71%) in the UK, which includes similar increases in females (73%) and males (70%).
- 1 in 480 men and 1 in 180 women will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer during their lifetime.
- Thyroid cancer in England is not associated with deprivation.
- Worldwide, it is estimated that there were more than 862,000 men and women still alive in 2008, up to five years after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
- 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.
- There were around 380 thyroid cancer deaths in the UK in 2014, that’s around 1 death every day.
- Thyroid cancer accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in the UK (2014).
- In males in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cause of cancer death, with around 150 deaths in 2014.
- In females in the UK, there were around 220 thyroid cancer deaths in 2014.
- Almost 6 in 10 (55%) thyroid cancer deaths in the UK each year are in people aged 75 and over (2012-2014).
- Mortality rates for thyroid cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85+ (2012-2014).
- Since the early 1970s, thyroid cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost a half (46%) in the UK. The decrease is smaller in males (24%), than in females (54%).
- Over the last decade, thyroid cancer mortality rates have remained stable in the UK, for males and females combined and separately.
- Thyroid cancer in England is not associated with deprivation.
- 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.
- Thyroid cancer survival in England is highest for people diagnosed aged under 50 years old (2009-2013).
- Around all people in England diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around a third of men and more than half of women diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
- 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).
- Less than 1% of thyroid cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk 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.
- More than 8 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
- Three quarters of patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.
The latest statistics available for thyroid cancer in the UK are; incidence 2013, mortality 2014 and survival 2009-2013 (by age).
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 females and 2010-2012 for males 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,
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.
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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