Cancer Statistics for the UK


New cases of cancer, 2015, UK


Deaths from cancer, 2016, UK


Survive cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Preventable cases

Cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

  • There are more than 360,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, that's nearly 990 every day (2013-2015).
  • In males in the UK, there were around 183,000 new cancer cases in 2015.
  • In females in the UK, there were around 177,000 new cancer cases in 2015.
  • Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.
  • Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers together accounted for over half (53%) of all new cancer cases in the UK in 2015.
  • Each year more than a third (36%) of all cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2013-2015).
  • Incidence rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2013-2015).

See more cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 164,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's around 450 every day (2014-2016).
  • Cancer accounts for more than a quarter (28%) of all deaths in the UK (2016).
  • In males in the UK, there were around 88,200 cancer deaths in 2016.
  • In females in the UK, there were around 77,900 cancer deaths in 2016.
  • Every four minutes someone in the UK dies from cancer.
  • Lung, bowel, breast and prostate cancers together accounted for almost half (45%) of all cancer deaths in the UK in 2016.
  • Around a fifth of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer.
  • Each year more than half (53%) of all cancer deaths in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2014-2016).
  • Mortality rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2014-2016).

See more cancer mortality statistics

  • Half (50%) of people diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • Cancer survival is higher in women than men.
  • Cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • Cancer survival is generally higher in people diagnosed aged under 40 years old, with the exception of breast, bowel and prostate cancers, where survival is highest in middle age.

See more cancer survival statistics

  • 1 in 2 people in the UK born after 1960 will be diagnosed with some form of cancer during their lifetime.
  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors.
  • Around 4 in 10 UK cancer cases every year could be prevented, that’s more than 135,000 every year.
  • Nearly 112,000 England cases, around 13,000 Scotland cancer cases, around 7,200 Wales cancer cases, and around 3,500 Northern Ireland cancer cases every year could be prevented.
  • Smoking is the largest cause of cancer in the UK.

See more cancer risk statistics

  • 'Two-week wait' is the most common route to diagnosing cancer.
  • Screening is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for all cancers combined.
  • 'Two-week wait' standards are met by all countries, '31-day wait' is met by all but Northern Ireland and Wales, and '62-day wait' is not met by any country for all cancers combined.
  • Around 9 in 10 patients had a ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’ patient experience.
  • Almost 9 in 10 patients are given the name of their Clinical Nurse Specialist.
  • 45% of patients diagnosed with cancer have surgery to remove the tumor as part of their primary cancer treatment. 27% of patients have radiotherapy, and 28% have chemotherapy.

See more in-depth cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

About this data

The latest data available for most cancers in the UK are: incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival 2010-11. Source years are specified in each section, for these and all other datasets.

Coding and counting information is available with the in-depth content by cancer type.


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We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.

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