Teenagers’ and young adults’ cancers incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of teenagers' and young adults' cancer, 2013-2015, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage teenagers' and young adults' cancer is of total cancer cases, 2013-2015, UK

 

Age

Age that more than half of teenagers’ and young adults’ cancers cases are diagnosed, 2000-2009, UK

Trend over time

Change in teenagers' and young adults' cancer incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

 

Cancer in teenagers and young adults accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer cases in the UK (2013-2015).[1-4]

48% of teenagers' and young adults' cancer cases in the UK are in males, and 52% are in females.

Teenagers' and young adults' cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) for males and females combined are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.

Teenagers' and Young Adults' Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Average Number of New Cases per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Ages 15-24, UK, 2013-2015

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 1,064 103 62 35 1,264
Crude Rate 30.5 30.1 29.6 27.9 30.3
AS Rate 30.4 30.0 29.4 28.2 30.3
AS Rate - 95% LCI 29.4 26.7 25.2 22.8 29.3
AS Rate - 95% UCI 31.5 33.4 33.7 33.6 31.2
Female Cases 1,140 104 79 42 1,366
Crude Rate 34.1 31.1 40.3 35.3 34.2
AS Rate 34.0 30.7 40.1 35.7 34.1
AS Rate - 95% LCI 32.9 27.3 35.0 29.5 33.0
AS Rate - 95% UCI 35.1 34.1 45.2 42.0 35.1
Persons Cases 2,205 207 141 77 2,630
Crude Rate 32.3 30.6 34.8 31.5 32.2
AS Rate 32.2 30.4 34.6 31.9 32.1
AS Rate - 95% LCI 31.4 28.0 31.3 27.8 31.4
AS Rate - 95% UCI 33.0 32.8 37.9 36.0 32.8

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

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 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

All teenagers' and young adults' cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

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The incidence of all cancers in 15-24 year-olds increases with age,[1] with the majority of cancers being diagnosed in those aged 20-24 (62% in the UK between 2000 and 2009) compared with 15-19 (38%). In males, the age-specific incidence rates rise from 188 per million in 15 year-olds to 329 per million in 24 year-olds, and in females from 154 to 368 per million, respectively.

All Teenage and Young Adult Cancers, Age-Specific Incidence Rates per Million Population, Ages 15-24, UK, 2000-2009

The age distributions vary considerably depending on subtype, however, with cancers showing various combinations of increases, plateaus and decreases in age-specific incidence rates across the age range.[9]

The largest rise in incidence between the ages of 15 and 24 occurs for cervical cancer with more than a hundred-fold increase in rates (from less than 1 per million in 15 year-olds to 56 per million in 24 year-olds).[1] The incidence rate for female breast cancer also rises dramatically with age with more than a fifty-fold increase in rates (from less than 1 per million in 15 year-olds to 22 per million in 24 year-olds). In males, the largest rise in incidence occurs for testicular germ cell tumours (GCTs) with a nine-fold increase in rates (from 12 per million in 15 year-olds to 107 per million in 24 year-olds). Other cancers showing large increases in incidence rates across the age range include malignant melanoma (seven- and eight-fold increases in males and females, respectively), and ovarian cancer (nine-fold increase).

None of the cancers show dramatic decreases in incidence rates between the ages of 15 and 24, though several show modest declines (between three- and six-fold).[1] These include osteosarcoma, rhabdomyosarcoma, Ewing tumours and Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). In males, the largest decline in incidence across the age range occurs for osteosarcoma with more than a six-fold decrease in rates (from 13 per million in 15 year-olds to 2 per million in 24 year-olds), whilst in females the largest decline occurs for rhabdomyosarcoma with a five-fold decrease (from 3 to less than 1 per million, respectively).

Teenage and Young Adult Cancers by Cancer Type, Age-Specific Incidence Rates per Million Population, Ages 15-24, UK, 2000-2009

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
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European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for cancers in teenage and young adult males and females combined increased by 33% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.[1-4] The increase was larger in females than in males.

For cancers in male teenagers and young adults, AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 22% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015. For cancers in female teenagers and young adults, AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 44% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), AS incidence rates for cancers in teenage and young adult males and females combined increased by 15%.[1-4] In males AS incidence rates remained stable, and in females rates increased by 25%.

Teenagers' and Young Adults' Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Ages15-24, UK, 1993-2015

All teenage and young adult cancers for England, Wales and Scotland includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5.

These trends include benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours because they account for a relatively high proportion of cases in this age group. However trends for these tumours are unreliable pre-2000s, and largely reflect improved data collection rather than true increased incidence. Percentage increases since the late 1970s and early 1990s are very slightly smaller if these tumours are excluded.

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/.
  5. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/.
  6. Alston RD, Geraci M, Eden TO, et al. Changes in cancer incidence in teenagers and young adults (ages 13 to 24 years) in England 1979-2003. Cancer 2008;113:2807-15.
  7. Birch JM, Alston RD, Kelsey AM, et al. Classification and incidence of cancers in adolescents and young adults in England 1979-1997. Br J Cancer 2002;87:1267-74.
  8. Adamson P, Bray F, Costantini AS, et al. Time trends in the registration of Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphomas in Europe. Eur J Cancer 2007;43:391-401.
  9. UK Association of Cancer Registries. Library of recommendations on cancer coding and classification policy and practice. Accessed February 2013.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2015, ICD-10 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Last reviewed:

Cancers in teenagers and young adults are further classified into cancer type using the internationally accepted teenager and young adult classification system, which also takes morphology into account. The classification divides teenage and young adult cancers into ten cancer types (called diagnostic groups), with further subgroups and divisions.[1,2] It is similar, but not identical to, the system used for the classification of childhood tumours.[3]

The three most common cancer types in teenagers and young adults are lymphomas, carcinomas and germ cell tumours.[4]

Teenage and Young Adult Cancers by Cancer Type, Average Number of New Cases per Year, Ages 15-24, UK, 2000-2009

References

  1. Birch JM, Alston RD, Kelsey AM, et al. Classification and incidence of cancers in adolescents and young adults in England 1979-1997. Br J Cancer 2002;87:1267-74.
  2. Barr RD, Holowaty EJ, Birch JM. Classification schemes for tumors diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. Cancer 2006;106:1425-30.
  3. Steliarova-Foucher E, Stiller C, Lacour B, et al. International Classification of Childhood Cancer, third edition. Cancer 2005;103:1457-67.
  4. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Lymphomas form the most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in teenagers and young adults overall, accounting for 21% of the total cancers in this age group.[1] The numbers of cases are slightly higher in males than in females, with a male:female ratio of 12:10. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin lymphoma (also called Hodgkin’s disease), which accounts for around two-thirds (68%) of all lymphomas in 15-24 year olds, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (32%).

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Carcinomas (such as of the thyroid, cervix, bowel and ovary) form the second most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in 15-24 year-olds overall, accounting for 20% of the total cancers in this age group.[1] However, the numbers of cases are considerably higher in females than in males, with a male:female ratio of 3:10. Hence carcinomas form the most commonly diagnosed group in females (accounting for 31% of the total) compared with the fifth most common group in males (9% of the total). This disparity is due to the much higher incidence of carcinoma of the thyroid in females compared with males, and the higher incidence of the female-specific carcinomas (cervix, ovary and breast).

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on reference. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Germ cell tumours (GCTs) form the third most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in teenagers and young adults overall, accounting for 15% of the total cancers in this age group.[1] Around 90% of cases occur in males, however, making it the most commonly diagnosed group in 15-24 year-old males (accounting for 27% of the total) and the eighth most common in females (3% of the total). Testicular GCTs make up the majority of this group, with the remainder being ovarian GCTs and GCTs of non-gonadal sites (such as in the pineal gland in the brain, or elsewhere in the head, neck or chest).

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours form the fourth most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in teenagers and young adults overall, accounting for 14% (7.5% malignant and 6.5% benign, uncertain or unknown) of the total cancers in this age group.[1] The numbers of cases are similar in males and females, with a male:female ratio of 11:10. This cancer type comprises a range of tumours, including astrocytoma, pituitary adenoma and craniopharyngioma.

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Malignant melanoma forms the fifth most common cancer in 15-24 year-olds overall, accounting for 11% of the total cancers in this age group.[1] The numbers of cases are around twice as high in females than in males, with a male:female ratio of 5:10. Hence, malignant melanoma forms the third most common cancer in females (accounting for 16% of the total) and the sixth most common in males (7%).

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Leukaemia forms the sixth most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in teenagers and young adults, accounting for around 9% of the total cancers in this age group[1]. The three main types in 15-24 year-olds: acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukaemia, and chronic myeloid leukaemia. ALL is the most common, accounting for 46% of all leukaemias in teenagers and young adults. This contrasts with leukaemia incidence in childhood, where ALL accounts for around four-fifths of the total (78% in Great Britain between 1996 and 2005).[2]

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
  2. Data were provided by Stiller C (Childhood Cancer Research Group) on request.
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Bone sarcoma forms the seventh most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in 15-24 year-olds, accounting for 5% of the total cases in this age group.[1] The numbers of cases are higher in males than in females, with a male:female ratio of 17:10. Osteosarcomas and Ewing tumours make up the majority of this group.

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

Soft tissue sarcoma (STS) forms the eighth most commonly diagnosed group of cancers in teenagers and young adults (and the least common of the specified cancer types), accounting for 4% of the total cancers in 15-24 year-olds.[1] The numbers of cases are slightly higher in males than in females, with a male:female ratio of 13:10. This cancer type comprises a range of tumours, including rhabdomyosarcoma, synovial sarcomas and nerve sheath tumours.

References

  1. Data were provided by Public Health England Knowledge and Intelligence Team (North West) on request. Similar data can be found here: http://www.nwcis.nhs.uk/
Last reviewed:

A study of cancer incidence in 13-24 year-olds for the period 1979-2001 in England showed a general trend of lower incidence with increasing deprivation for all cancers.[1] Differing associations were shown by cancer type, however. Incidence of leukaemia overall was highest in the most deprived teenagers and young adults, although there was no significant trend by deprivation for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) separately; incidence of cervical cancer also showed a trend of higher incidence with increasing deprivation. In contrast, incidence of Hodgkin lymphoma, germ cell tumours (GCTs) and melanoma were all highest in the most affluent 13-24 year-olds.[1]

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Although cancer registration has a long history in many countries of the world, particularly in the more affluent regions such as the UK, nearly 80% of the world’s populations live in regions that are not covered by such systems.[1] Nonetheless, with a view to characterising the global burden of the disease, the International Agency for Research on Cancer routinely uses the available data to estimate worldwide cancer incidence.[2]

It is estimated that there were around 173,000 cases of cancer diagnosed in teenagers and young adults worldwide in 2008.[3] Incidence rates tend to be higher in more developed regions and lower in developing regions, with a greater than three-fold variation in world AS incidence rates between the regions of the world.[4]

Within the 27 countries of the European Union, there were an estimated 14,700 cases of cancer in teenagers and young adults in 2008.[3] In a European registry study, the age-specific incidence rate for all cancers (including skin carcinomas) in 15-19 year-olds in 19 European countries was found to increase from 147 per million in the 1970s to 165 in the 1980s and 193 in the 1990s.[5] The largest increases were for carcinomas (average annual percentage change, AAPC, of 3.9%), followed by soft tissue sarcomas (2.6%), lymphomas (2.4%), germ cell tumours (GCTs) (1.7%) and CNS tumours (1.4%).[6]

In the US, the age-specific incidence rate for all cancers (including skin carcinomas) in 2000-2009 was 220 per million for persons aged 15-19 and 371 per million in 20–24 year-olds. Incidence rates for most diagnostic groups have increased significantly in both age-groups since 1975, with AAPCs ranging from 0.6% to 1.3%. The exceptions to this are soft tissue sarcomas (STSs), for which incidence did not increase in either age-group over the period, and carcinomas, for which incidence only increased in 15–19 year-olds.[7]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. Estimates of worldwide burden of cancer in 2008: GLOBOCAN 2008. Int J Cancer 2010 127:2893-917.
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v2.0, 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 February 2013.
  3. Data were provided by Ferlay J (International Agency for Research on Cancer) on request.
  4. World age-standardised rates for cancer in 15-24 year-olds calculated by the Cancer Research UK Statistical Information Team, September 2012, using data provided by Jacques Ferlay (International Agency for Research on Cancer).
  5. Stiller CA, Desandes E, Danon SE, et al. Cancer incidence and survival in European adolescents (1978-1997). Report from the Automated Childhood Cancer Information System project. Eur J Cancer 2006;42:2006-18.
  6. Steliarova-Foucher E, Stiller C, Kaatsch P, et al. Geographical patterns and time trends of cancer incidence and survival among children and adolescents in Europe since the 1970s (the ACCISproject): an epidemiological study. Lancet 2004;364:2097-105.
  7. Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, et al., eds. SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2009 (Vintage 2009 Populations). Bethesda, MD. : National Cancer Institute; Based on November 2011 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2012. http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2009_pops09/. Accessed February 2013.
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