Cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK.

Common cancers

More than half of new cases of cancer are breast, prostate, lung or bowel cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of cancer cases, 2014-2016, UK

  • 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.
  • Since the early 1990s, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased by more than a tenth (12%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by almost a sixth (16%), and rates in males increased by less than a twentieth (2%).
  • Over the last decade, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased by around a twentieth (6%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by almost a tenth (8%), and rates in males have increased by less than a twentieth (1%).
  • Almost half of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in England (2014) and Northern Ireland (2010-2014).
  • Incidence rates for all cancers combined are projected to rise by 2% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 742 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • An estimated 2,273,200 people who had previously been diagnosed with cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2013.
  • UK incidence is ranked higher than two-thirds of Europe.
  • UK incidence is ranked higher than 90% of the world.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics for all cancers combined

  • Breast, prostate, lung and bowel cancers together accounted for over half (53%) of all new cancer cases in the UK in 2016.
  • Thyroid and liver cancers have shown the fastest increases in incidence in both males and females over the past decade in the UK.
  • Incidence of kidney cancer, melanoma skin cancer, and head and neck cancers has also increased markedly in females over the past decade in the UK.
  • Incidence of melanoma skin cancer, kidney cancer and Hodgkin lymphoma has also increased markedly in males over the past decade in the UK.
  • Cancer of unknown primary and stomach cancers have shown the fastest decreases in incidence in both males and females over the past decade in the UK.
  • For lung, bowel, and oesophageal cancers, the incidence trend differs between the sexes.
  • Incidence rates are projected to rise for most types of cancer in the UK between 2014 and 2035.
  • Among cancer types where rates are projected to rise in the UK between 2014 and 2035, the size of the increase ranges from 2% (breast cancer) to 74% (thyroid cancer).
  • Among cancer types where rates are projected to fall in the UK between 2014 and 2035, the size of the decrease ranges from 2% (non-Hodgkin lymphoma) to 53% (mesothelioma).

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics for common cancers

  • 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).
  • The most common cancers vary considerably by age group; different cancer types tend to be diagnosed in young people compared with older people.
  • Since the early 1990s, incidence rates for all cancers combined have increased for all the broad age groups in the UK. The increase is largest in people aged 0-24 where rates have increased by a quarter (25%)

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by age at diagnosis

  • Cancer is more common in white and black males than in Asian males.
  • Cancer is more common in white females than in Black or Asian females.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by ethnic group

  • Cancer in England is more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • There are around 15,000 extra cases of cancer, per year, in England, because of socio-economic variation.

See more in-depth cancer incidence statistics by deprivation gradient

Local Cancer Statistics

Local level cancer statistics; search profiles by area, constituency or health board in the UK..

Interested in an overview for Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?

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.