Cancer mortality for all cancers combined

Deaths

Deaths from cancer, 2016, UK

Proportion of UK deaths

Cancer causes more than one in four of all deaths, 2016, UK

Trend over time

Change in cancer mortality rates since the early 1970s, UK

 

All cancers combined is the most common cause of death in the UK, accounting for more than a quarter (28%) all deaths (2016).[1-6]

In males in the UK, all cancers combined is the most common cause of death in the UK as a whole (30% of all male deaths), and in the UK countries separately (30% in England and Wales, 30% in Scotland, 31% in Northern Ireland). In females in the UK all cancers combined is the most common cause of death in the UK as a whole (26% of all female deaths), and in the UK countries separately (26% in England and Wales 26% in Scotland, 27% in Northern Ireland).

53% of deaths for all cancers combined in the UK are in males, and 47% are in females. This reflects the sex differences in cancer incidence (higher in men than women) and survival (higher in women than men).

All cancers combined mortality rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item ) for persons are significantly higher than the UK average in Northern Ireland and Scotland, significantly lower than the UK average in England, and similar to the UK average in Wales.

All Cancers Combined (C00-C97), Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Male Deaths 72829 8303 4785 2312 88229
Crude Rate 266.8 316.0 311.9 252.6 272.5
AS Rate 327.2 378.3 340.8 347.6 332.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 324.8 370.2 331.1 333.4 330.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 329.6 386.4 350.4 361.7 334.9
Female Deaths 64076 7598 4101 2131 77906
Crude Rate 229.1 273.6 259.7 225.0 234.2
AS Rate 228.0 264.3 234.0 245.6 231.9
AS Rate - 95% LCL 226.2 258.3 226.9 235.2 230.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 229.7 270.2 241.2 256.1 233.5
Persons Deaths 136905 15901 8886 4443 166135
Crude Rate 247.7 294.2 285.4 238.6 253.1
AS Rate 269.3 311.3 279.3 286.4 273.9
AS Rate - 95% LCL 267.9 306.5 273.5 278.0 272.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 270.8 316.1 285.1 294.8 275.2

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
 

For all cancers combined, mortality differences between countries reflect something other than differences in incidence.​

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Deaths registered in England and Wales: 2016. Available from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/2016. Accessed February 2018.
  2. National Records of Scotland. 2016 Births, Deaths and Other Vital Events - Preliminary Annual Figures. Available from http://www.nrscotland.gov.uk/statistics-and-data/statistics/statistics-by-theme/vital-events/general-publications/births-deaths-and-other-vital-events-preliminary-annual-figures/2016. Accessed February 2018.
  3. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Registrar General Northern Ireland Annual Report 2016. NISRA; Available from https://www.nisra.gov.uk/statistics/births-deaths-and-marriages/registrar-general-annual-report. Accessed February 2018.
  4. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  5. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp
  6. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, December 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016, All causes mortality, ICD-10 A00-R99 - U00-Y89. All cancers combined mortality ICD-10 C00-C97.

Last reviewed:

All cancers combined European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item mortality rates for males and females combined decreased by 16% in the UK between 1971-1973 and 2014-2016.[1-3] The decrease was larger in males than in females. Decreasing mortality is largely due to improved survival – and is despite a small increase in incidence rates.

For males, all cancers combined AS mortality rates in the UK decreased by 24% between 1971-1973 and 2014-2016. For females, all cancers combined AS mortality rates in the UK decreased by 10% between 1971-1973 and 2014-2016.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2004-2006 and 2014-2016), all cancers combined AS mortality rates for males and females combined decreased by 9%.[1-3] In males AS mortality rates decreased by 12%, and in females rates decreased by 8%.

All Cancers (C00-97), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 1971-2016

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, October 2017. 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, December 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1971-2016, C00-97.

Last reviewed:

An estimated 832,000 cancer deaths had been avoided in the UK by 2016 because mortality rates dropped from their peak levels in the 1980s.[1

This includes around 561,000 male deaths avoided since the male mortality rate peaked in 1985, and around 271,000 female deaths avoided since the female mortality rate peaked in 1989.

All Cancers Combined (C00-C97), Observed Deaths, and Expected Deaths if Mortality Rates Had Not Fallen from Peak, UK, 1979-2016

References

  1. Calculated by the Statistical Information Team at Cancer Research UK, 2018, based on method set out in Siegel R, Ward E, Brawley O, Jemal A., Cancer statistics, 2011: the impact of eliminating socioeconomic and racial disparities on premature cancer deaths. CA Cancer J Clin. 2011 Jul-Aug;61(4):212-36.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1971-2016, ICD-10 C00-C97.

The number of avoided cancer deaths is estimated by comparing the actual number of cancer deaths observed, with number of cancer deaths expected if mortality rates had not fallen from their overall peak. The number of cancer deaths expected is calculated by applying the cancer mortality rate in the overall peak year, to the total population in each subsequent year. These calculations are made for males and females separately in each five-year age band (e.g. using age-specific mortality rates for the overall peak year), and summed to create the UK total.

Last reviewed:

All cancers combined mortality rates are projected to fall by 15% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 280 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger decrease for males than for females.

For males, all cancers combined European age standardised (AS) Open a glossary item mortality rates in the UK are projected to fall by 18% between 2014 and 2035, to 330 per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by 15% between 2014 and 2035, to 239 per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

All Cancers (Excluding Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer, and Including Benign and Uncertain or Unknown Behaviour Brain, other Central Nervous System and Intracranial Tumours: ICD-10 C00-C97 excluding C44, plus D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, and D44.3-D44), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Mortality Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 212,546 deaths from all cancers combined (116,585 in males, 95,961 in females) will occur in the UK in 2035.

References

  1. Smittenaar CR, Petersen KA, Stewart K, Moitt N. Cancer Incidence and Mortality Projections in the UK Until 2035. Brit J Cancer 2016.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 1979-2014 (observed), 2015-2035 (projected). ICD-10 codes all cancers combined C00-C97 excluding C44, plus D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. The definition of 'all cancer types/sites combined' used here differs from that typically used in mortality statistics on this website: benign and uncertain or unknown behaviour brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5) are included here, and non-melanoma skin cancer (C44) is excluded. It is not possible to assess the statistical significance of changes between 2014 (observed) and 2035 (projected) figures. Confidence intervals are not calculated for the projected figures. Projections are by their nature uncertain because unexpected events in future could change the trend. It is not sensible to calculate a boundary of uncertainty around these already uncertain point estimates. Changes are described as 'increase' or 'decrease' if there is any difference between the point estimates.

More on projections methodology

Last reviewed:

Cancer is the leading cause of death in the UK for males and females aged 1 and older. Cancer accounted for 27% of all deaths in the UK in 2015.[1-3]

Cancer is the leading cause of death in both sexes for all broad age groups except for 15-24 year old males and females and 25-34 and 35-44 year old males (leading cause of death is accidents).[1-3]

The Four Most Common Causes of Death by ICD-10 Chapters, Persons Aged 1 and older, UK, 2015

Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Deaths are presented for 1-75+ years only because of the large numbers of deaths that occur in infants (for example, during childbirth or related to immaturity conditions or congenital anomalies).

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Mortality Statistics: Deaths registered in England and Wales (Series DR).
  2. General Register Office for Scotland. Vital Events Reference Tables.
  3. Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. Registrar General Annual Reports.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2014, ICD-10 chapters

Last reviewed:

The UK mortality rate in males is lower (9%) than the European Union (126 and 139 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) in females in the UK than in the European Union (EU) (97 and 86 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
 
Last reviewed:

The mortality rate for all cancers combined for males in the UK is lower (9%) than in the More Developed Regions (MDRs) of the world (126 and 138 per 100,000, respectively), but is higher (13%) for females in the UK than in the MDRs (97 and 86 per 100,000, respectively).[1]

The mortality rates for all cancers combined for both sexes in the UK are higher (5% in males and 22% in females) than the Less Developed Regions (LDRs) of the world (120 and 80 per 100,000 for males and females, respectively).[1]

The four most common causes of cancer death worldwide; lung, liver, stomach, and bowel cancers, are different to the most common causes of cancer death in the UK.[1]

References

  1. Ferlay J, Soerjomataram I, Ervik M, et al. GLOBOCAN 2012 v1.0, Cancer Incidence and Mortality Worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 11 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2013. Available from: http://globocan.iarc.fr accessed August 2015.
Last reviewed:

Local Cancer Statistics

Local level cancer statistics; searchable by a local area or constituency in England.

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.

Citation

You are welcome to reuse this Cancer Research UK content for your own work.
Credit us as authors by referencing Cancer Research UK as the primary source. Suggested styles are:

Web content: Cancer Research UK, full URL of the page, Accessed [month] [year].
Publications: Cancer Research UK ([year of publication]), Name of publication, Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when reused unaltered): Credit: Cancer Research UK.
Graphics (when recreated with differences): Based on a graphic created by Cancer Research UK.

When Cancer Research UK material is used for commercial reasons, we encourage a donation to our life-saving research.
Send a cheque payable to Cancer Research UK to: Cancer Research UK, Angel Building, 407 St John Street, London, EC1V 4AD or

Donate online

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.

Rate this page:

Currently rated: 3.1 out of 5 based on 17 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think

Share this page