Cancer Statistics for the UK
New cases of cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK
Deaths from cancer, 2016, UK
Survive cancer for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales
Cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015
- There are around 363,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, that's more than 990 every day (2014-2016).
- In females in the UK, there were around 178,000 new cancer cases in 2016.
- In males in the UK, there were around 185,000 new cancer cases in 2016.
- 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 2016.
- Each year more than a third (36%) of all cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2014-2016).
- Incidence rates for all cancers combined in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2014-2016).
- 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).
- 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.
- '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.
- 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
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.
You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK 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.
Graphics (when reused unaltered): Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when recreated with differences): Based on a graphic created by Cancer Research UK.
When Cancer Research UK material is used for commercial reasons, we encourage a donation to our life-saving research.
Send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to: Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4AD or
We’re now on twitter.
The University of Manchester are currently conducting a survey into healthcare professionals' and public attitudes towards sun exposure and vitamin D.
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.