Children's cancers survival statistics

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Survival

Children survive cancer for 5 or more years, 2011-15, England

Improvement

Children's cancers survival (10 or more years) in the UK has more than doubled between the 1970s and 2000s

 

Around 9 in 10 children diagnosed with cancer (all childhood cancers combined) survive for at least one year. This falls to more than 8 in 10 surviving for five years or more, as shown by population-based survival for children diagnosed with cancer during 2011-15 in England.[1

Childhood cancer survival continues to fall slightly beyond five years after diagnosis. Around 8 in 10 children diagnosed with cancer survive for ten years or more, as shown by actuarial survival for children diagnosed with cancer during 2006-10 in England.[1

Survivors of childhood cancer have higher than expected mortality in adulthood compared with the general population, though the extent of this excess mortality has decreased over time.[2]

Children’s Cancers, Population-Based One-, Five- and Ten-Year Survival, Children (Aged 0-14), England, 2006-10 and 2011-15

  1-year (2011-15) 5-year (2011-15) 10-year (2006-10)
Survival 92% 84% 80%

 

References

  1. Public Health England on behalf of the Children, Teenagers and Young Adults Expert Advisory Group, National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Childhood Cancer Statistics, England, Annual report 2018. Available from http://ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/cancer_type_specific_work/cancer_in_children_teenagers_and_young_adults/, accessed October 2020. 
  2. Fidler MM, Reulen RC, Winter DL, Kelly J, Jenkinson HC, Skinner R, Frobisher C, Hawkins MM. Long term cause specific mortality among 34 489 five year survivors of childhood cancer in Great Britain: population based cohort study. BMJ 2016; 354: i4351.

About this data

Data is for England, 2006-10 and 2011-15, International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition (ICCC-3)

All children's cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour 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:

One-, five- and ten-year survival for all childhood cancers combined does not differ significantly between 0-4, 5-9 and 10-14 year-olds.[1]

Children’s Cancers, Smoothed One-, Five- and Ten-Year Survival, By Age, England, 2018

  1-year survival 5-year survival 10-year survival
Age 0-4 90.5 86.7 81.3
Age 5-9 96.2 85.8 81.0
Age 10-14 95.3 83.9 81.0

 

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Childhood cancer survival in England. Available from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/datasets/childhoodcancersurvivalinengland. Accessed October 2020

About this data

Data is for England, 2018, ICD-10 C00-C43, C45-C76, C80-97, D33 and D43.

All children's cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour 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:

See more up-to-date survival statistics here. Long-term survival trend including these more up-to-date statistics is not yet available.

Survival for cancer in children is improving overall. One-year actuarial survival for all childhood cancers combined has increased from 63% during 1971-1975 to 91% during 2006-2010 in Great Britain – an absolute survival difference Open a glossary item of 28 percentage points.[1,2] Most of this increase occurred during the 1970s and 1980s.

Childhood Cancer, One-, Five- and Ten-Year Actuarial Survival, Children (Aged 0-14), Great Britain, 1971-2010

Five- and ten-year survival for all childhood cancers combined has increased by even greater amounts since the early 1970s.[1,2] Five-year survival has increased from 40% during 1971-1975 to 82% during 2006-2010 in Great Britain – an absolute survival difference of 42 percentage points, while ten-year survival has increased from 36% during 1971-1975 to 76% during 2001-2005 – an absolute survival difference of 40 percentage points.

Ten-year survival has increased for all diagnostic groups since the early 1970s, but by varying amounts and at different points in time.[2] A lot of the progress can be attributed to the advent of combination chemotherapy in the late 1960s and 1970s. For many diagnostic groups, improvements in survival coincide with eras of entry into clinical trials.[3]

Childhood Cancer Diagnostic Groups, Ten-Year Actuarial Survival, Children (Aged 0-14), Great Britain, 1971-2005

Leukaemia (all subtypes combined) has shown the largest increase in ten-year actuarial survival since the early 1970s, from 27% in 1971-1975 to 81% in 2001-2005 in Great Britain – an absolute survival difference of 54 percentage points.[2] Hepatic tumours have also shown large increases in ten-year survival, from 14% in 1971-1975 to 64% in 2001-2005 (an increase of 50 percentage points). Retinoblastoma has consistently had the highest survival of all the childhood cancers over the last four decades; even so, ten-year survival has still improved from 87% in 1971-1975 to 99% in 2001-2005.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. National Registry of Childhood Tumours Progress Report, 2012. Oxford: NRCT; 2013.
  2. Ten-year actuarial survival, children aged 0-14 years, Great Britain, 1971-2005 data were provided by Charles Stiller at the National Registry of Childhood Tumours on request in 2013.
  3. Stiller CA, Kroll ME, Pritchard-Jones K. Population survival from childhood cancer in Britain during 1978-2005 by eras of entry to clinical trials. Ann Oncol 2012;23(9):2464-9.

About this data

Data is for: Great Britain, 1971-2010, ICD-10 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 benign/uncertain or unknown behaviour 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:

Survival for children’s cancers varies considerably between cancer types.[1]

Children’s Cancers By Type, Population-Based Five-Year Survival, Children (Aged 0-14), England, 2011-15

There is also marked variation within these broad diagnostic groups.

 

 

Last reviewed:

In 2005-07, age-standardised five-year survival for all cancers combined in children in the UK and Ireland (78%) was similar to the average for Europe (79%). [1]

References

  1. Gatta G, Botta L, Rossi S, et al. Childhood cancer survival in Europe 1999-2007: results of EUROCARE-5--a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2014;15(1):35-47

About this data

See source for ICD codes and other data specifics.

Last reviewed:

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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.