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 of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in England (2014) and Northern Ireland (2010-2014).
- Around half (50-58%) of people in the UK who are invited for bowel cancer screening are screened with a definitive usable result within 6 months of invitation.
- Bowel cancer screening uptake within 6 months of invitation has fluctuated in England, increased steadily in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and overall decreased in Wales.
- 2-3% of people who have bowel cancer screening in the UK have a definitive positive (abnormal) result, in any given screening round.
- Bowel cancer is found in 12-15% of men and 8% of women who have colonoscopy or other investigation following an abnormal bowel cancer screening result in England and Scotland.
- Around three-quarters (74%) of women in the UK who are invited for breast screening are screened with a definitive usable result within 6 months of invitation.
- Breast screening uptake in the UK has fallen slightly since 2010/11.
- Less than 1 per 100 screened women in the UK have cancer detected through breast screening. Around 8 in 10 of these are invasive cancers.
- For every breast cancer death prevented through screening, 3 women will be overdiagnosed.
- Around 7 in 10 (70-73%) of women in Great Britain who are eligible for cervical screening are screened with a definitive usable result for their age.
- Cervical screening coverage in England and Scotland is falling slowly.
- More than 9 in 10 women in Great Britain who have cervical screening receive a negative (normal) result.
- Cervical cancer is found in between 1 and 30 per 1,000 women in England with an abnormal screening result.
- '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 is used where possible. Source years, coding and counting information are specified in each section.
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