Children's cancers mortality statistics

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Deaths

Deaths from cancer in children, 2015-2017, UK.

Percentage of all deaths

Percentage children contribute to total cancer deaths, 2015-2017, UK

Trend over time

Change in children's cancers mortality rates since the early 1970s, UK

Proportion of deaths in children

Cancer causes 23% of all deaths in children, 2017, UK

Cancer in children accounts for less than 1% of all cancer deaths in the UK (2016-2018).[1-3]

44% of children's cancer deaths in the UK are in girls, and 56% are in boys (2016-2018).

Children's cancer mortality rates (World age-standardised (AS) rates) Open a glossary itemfor persons are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.

For children's cancer mortality and incidence rates do not vary between the UK constituent nations.

Children's Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Average Number of Deaths per Year, Crude and World Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per Million Population, Ages 0-14, UK, 2016-2018

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Girls Deaths 90 9 6 2 107
Crude Rate 18.4 21.4 22.1 13.0 18.6
AS Rate 18.3 21.0 21.5 13.3 18.5
AS Rate - 95% LCL 16.1 13.1 11.3 3.4 16.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 20.5 28.9 31.7 23.1 20.5
Boys Deaths 114 11 8 4 137
Crude Rate 22.2 24.1 30.9 19.4 22.7
AS Rate 22.1 23.2 31.5 20.0 22.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 19.8 15.2 19.2 8.2 20.4
AS Rate - 95% UCL 24.5 31.2 43.9 31.8 24.7
Children Deaths 204 20 14 6 244
Crude Rate 20.4 22.8 26.6 16.3 20.7
AS Rate 20.3 22.1 26.6 16.7 20.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 18.7 16.5 18.6 9.0 19.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 21.9 27.7 34.6 24.4 22.1

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, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

All children's cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

Last reviewed:

The highest mortality rates for all children's cancers combined are in the 5-9 age group, with almost 4 in 10 (36%) of all cases in children being diagnosed in this age group (UK, 2016-2018).[1-3] This pattern varies greatly by cancer type.[4]

Childhood cancer usually has no known cause. For most cancer types incidence increases with age, which largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, Age 0-14, ICD-10 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Last reviewed:

World age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) mortality rates for cancers in children (girls and boys combined) decreased by 69% in the UK between 1971-1973 and 2016-2018.[1-3] The decrease was of a similar size in girls and boys.

For cancers in girls, (AS) mortality rates in the UK decreased by 68% between 1971-1973 and 2016-2018. For cancers in boys, AS mortality rates in the UK decreased by 70% between 1971-1973 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), AS mortality rates for cancers in children (girls and boys combined decreased by 21%.[1-3] In girls, AS mortality rates remained stable, and in boys rates decreased by 22%.

Children's Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), World Age-Standardised Mortality Rates per Million Population, UK, Ages 0-14, 1971-2018

For most cancer types, mortality trends largely reflect incidence and survival trends. For example, rising mortality may reflect rising incidence and stable survival, while falling mortality may reflect rising incidence and rising survival.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1971-2018, Age 0-14, C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

All children's cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

Last reviewed:

The most common causes of cancer death in children are malignant brain, other central nervous system (CNS) and intracranial tumours, followed by leukaemia.[1-3]

Routinely-collected mortality data are presented by ICD-10 code. However, this coding framework is generally not appropriate for cancer in children because it defines tumours using body site rather than cell type, and the latter is more important for cancer in children. ICD-10 coding is considered reliable for malignant brain and other CNS tumours and leukaemias in children.[4] Finer breakdowns of deaths by cancer type are available but the data are not recent.[5]

Children’s Cancers by Cancer Type, Average Number of Deaths per Year, Age 0-14, UK, 2016-2018

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, November 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  4. Public Health England. Childhood Cancer Mortality in the UK and Internationally, 2005-2010. Available from http://www.ncin.org.uk/view?rid=3027, accessed January 2020.
  5. Stiller C (Ed.) Childhood cancer in Britain: incidence, survival and mortality. Oxford University Press, 2007.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, Brain ICD-10 C70-C72;Leukaemia ICD-10 C91-C95; Other cancers ICD-10 C00-C69, C73-C90, C96-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5; All cancers combined C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Last reviewed:

Cancer (excluding benign, uncertain and unknown behaviour brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours) is the leading cause of death for boys and girls aged 1-14. Cancer accounted for 23% of all deaths in this age group in 2017.[1-3]

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Death registrations summary tables - England and Wales
  2. General Register Office for Scotland. Vital Events Reference Tables
  3. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Registrar General Annual Report 2016 Cause of Death

About this data

See source for ICD codes and other data specifics.

Last reviewed:

Cancer stats explained

See information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of our statistics.

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Acknowledgements

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.