Mortality rates are strongly related to age for all cancers combined, with the highest mortality rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than half (54%) of deaths were in people aged 75 and over.[1-3] This largely reflects higher incidence and lower survival for all cancers combined in older people.
Age-specific mortality rates rates rise steadily from around age 45-49 and more steeply from around age 70-74. The highest rates are in the 90+ age group for females and males. Mortality rates are significantly higher in females than males in the 30-49 age groups and significantly lower in females than males in the older age groups.The gap is widest at age 90+, when the age-specific mortality rate is 1.9 times lower in females than males.
All Cancers Combined (C00-C97), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018
Children aged 0-14, and teenagers and young adults aged 15-24, each account for less than one per cent of all cancer deaths in the UK, with slightly more deaths in males than females in both age groups (2016-2018).[1-3]
Adults aged 25-49 contribute around 5 in 100 (4%) of all cancer deaths, with slightly fewer deaths in males than females in this age group.[1-3] Adults aged 50-74 account for more than 4 in 10 (42%) of all cancer deaths, and elderly people aged 75+ account for more than half (54%), with slightly more deaths in males than females in both age groups
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, ICD-10 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.