Incidence rates are strongly related to age for all cancers combined, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than a third (36%) of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]
Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and males.
Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in the younger age groups and significantly lower in females than males in the older age groups.The gap is widest at age 40 to 44, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.1 times higher in females than males.
All Cancers (C00-C97 Excl. C44), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018
Children aged 0-14, and young people aged 15-24, each account for less than one per cent of all new cancer cases in the UK (2016-2018).[1-4] Adults aged 25-49 contribute around a tenth (9%) of all new cancer cases, with almost twice (1.9 times) as many cases in females as males in this age group.[1-4] Adults aged 50-74 account for more than half (54%) of all new cancer cases, and elderly people aged 75+ account for more than a third (36%), with slightly fewer cases in females than males in both age groups. There are more people aged 50-74 than aged 75+ in the population overall, hence the number of cancer cases is higher in 50-74s, but incidence rates are higher in 75+s.
Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
About this data
Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C00-97 Excl. C44.