- Around 2,200 teenagers’ and young adults’ cancers are diagnosed each year in the UK, that’s around 6 teenagers and young adults every day.
- Cancer is relatively rare in teenage and young adults (TYAs), accounting for less than 1% of cancers at all ages.
- In males, there were around 1,100 cases of teenagers’ and young adults’ cancer diagnosed each year in the UK between 2010 and 2012.
- In females, there were around 1,100 cases of teenagers’ and young adults’ cancer diagnosed each year in the UK between 2010 and 2012.
- Lymphomas are the most common group of cancers in teenagers and young adults.
- Since the mid-1990s, TYA cancer incidence rates have increased by around a fifth (19%) in the UK.
- Over the last decade, TYA cancer incidence rates have increased by less than a tenth (6%) in the UK.
Teenagers’ and young adults’ cancers statistics
New cases of teenagers' and young adults' cancers, per year in 2010-2012, UK
Deaths from teenagers' and young adults' cancers, per year in 2009-2011, UK
Survive teenagers' and young adults' cancers for 5 or more years, 2001-2005, England and Wales
- Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in teenage and young adults (TYAs) in the UK, accounting for 9% of all deaths in males and 15% of all deaths in females aged 15–24.
- Around 310 TYAs die from cancer each year in the UK.
- Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours are the most common cause of cancer death in TYAs.
- The death rate from TYA cancer in the UK has halved since the mid-1970s.
- More than 8 in 10 (82-85%) teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer in the UK survive their disease for five years or more (2001-05).
- Teenagers' and young adults' cancers survival is higher in females than males.
- Survival for teenagers' and young adults' cancers is improving and has increased in the last 40 years in the UK.
- In the 1990s, around three-quarters of teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer survived their disease beyond five years, now it's more than 8 in 10.
- A teenager or young adult’s risk of developing cancer depends on factors including age, genetics and other risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
- Lifestyle risk factors probably have less impact on teenage and young adult cancer risk than adult cancer risk, because this age group has had less time exposed to these factors. Overall, evidence on teenage and young adult cancer risk factors is limited, mainly because of the relative rarity and diversity of this group of cancers.
- Teenage and young adult lymphoma risk may relate to certain infections, but evidence is unclear.
- Teenage and young adult carcinoma risk may relate to certain infections (e.g. cervix carcinoma) and genetic conditions (e.g. bowel and thyroid carcinoma), but evidence is unclear.
- Teenage and young adult germ cell tumour risk may relate to certain congenital disorders (e.g. testicular germ cell tumours), but evidence is unclear.
- Emergency presentation and GP referral (not ‘two-week wait’) are the most common routes to diagnosis of cancer in teenagers and young adults.
- Most cancers in teenagers and young adults are treated with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Want these Key Stats as a document or looking for a stats report?
Use the print function at the bottom of any page Share this page > +Other > Print or through your browser options to print or save these stats.
The latest statistics available for teenagers' and young adults' cancers are; incidence 2010-2012, mortality 2010-2012, and survival 2001-2005.
Statistics for specific diagnostic groups and subtypes in the UK are also available for 2000-2009.
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.
'Teenagers and young adults' refers to 15 to 24 year olds, inclusively.
Due to the rarity of cancer in teenagers and young adults compared with the adult population, incidence rates are quoted per million rather than per 100,000 population.
Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages,
In risk factor statistics,
See on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of the statistics are also available.
We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.
You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK statistics content for your own work.
Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:
Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year].
Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK.