Cancer Statistics for the UK
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New cases of cancer, 2015-2017, UK.
Deaths from cancer, 2016-2018, UK.
Survive cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales
Cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015
- There are around 367,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, that's around 1,000 every day (2015-2017).
- In females in the UK, there were more than 179,000 new cancer cases in 2017.
- In males in the UK, there were around 187,000 new cancer cases in 2017.
- Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer.
- Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers together accounted for more than half (53%) of all new cancer cases in the UK in 2017.
- Each year more than a third (36%) of all cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2015-2017).
- Incidence rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
- There are more than 166,000 cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's more than 450 every day (2016-2018).
- In females in the UK, there were around 77,800 cancer deaths in 2018.
- In males in the UK, there were around 89,000 cancer deaths in 2018.
- 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 2018.
- Around a fifth of all cancer deaths are from lung cancer.
- Mortality rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2016-2018).
- Each year more than half (54%) of all cancer deaths in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2016-2018).
- 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.
- 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, accounting for 15% of all cancer cases.
- Almost half (45.5%) of all cancer cases were diagnosed at stage 3 & 4 (out of those with a known stage at diagnosis) in England in 2018 – that’s more than 118,000 cases.
- Almost two-thirds (63.2%) of persons aged 50-74 were screened for bowel cancer with FIT within 6 months of invitation in Scotland in 2019/20.
- Bowel screening uptake within 6 months of invitation has increased slightly in all UK nations in recent years.
- Around 7 in 10 (69.1%) of women aged 50-70 were screened for breast cancer within 6 months of invitation in Wales in 2018/19.
- Breast screening uptake within 6 months of invitation has fallen slightly in England in recent years.
- More than 7 in 10 (72.3%) of people with a cervix aged 25-64 were screened for cervical cancer within the previous 3.5 years (25-49) or 5 years (50-64) in Northern Ireland in 2017/18.
- Age-appropriate cervical screening coverage has fallen slightly in England and Scotland in recent years.
- Almost 4 in 10 (37.8%) of all cancer cases were diagnosed through an urgent suspected cancer referral (two-week wait) in England in 2016.
- Almost 6 in 10 (58%) of all cancer cases diagnosed through an emergency route were at the latest stage, compared with around 2 in 10 (22%) of cases diagnosed though an urgent suspected cancer referral (two-week wait) in England in 2015-16.
- '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.
- 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.
About this data
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