Leukaemia (all subtypes combined) statistics

Cases

New cases of leukaemia each year, 2016-2018 average, UK.

Deaths

Deaths from leukaemia, 2017-2019, UK.

 

Survival

Survive leukaemia for 10 or more years, 2013-2017, England

Preventable cases

Leukaemia cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 10,300 new leukaemia cases in the UK every year, that's 28 every day (2017-2019).
  • Leukaemia is the 12th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, leukaemia is the 12th most common cancer, with around 4,200 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, leukaemia is the 10th most common cancer, with around 6,100 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • Incidence rates for leukaemia in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2016-2018).
  • Each year almost 4 in 10 (38%) of all new leukaemia cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2016-2018).
  • Since the early 1990s, leukaemia incidence rates have increased by around a seventh (13%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by a tenth (10%), and rates in males have increased by around a tenth (9%) (2016-2018).
  • Over the last decade, leukaemia incidence rates have increased by less than a twentieth (3%) in the UK. Rates in females have remained stable, and rates in males have remained stable (2016-2018).
  • Leukaemia incidence rates are projected to fall by 3% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.
  • There could be around 14,500 new cases of leukaemia every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.
  • Incidence rates for leukaemia are lower in the Asian and Black ethnic groups, and in people of mixed or multiple ethnicity, compared with the White ethnic group, in England (2013-2017). See our publication Cancer Incidence by Broad Ethnic Group for more details.
  • Leukaemia incidence rates in England in females are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).
  • In the UK around 27,100 people were still alive at the end of 2006, up to ten years after being diagnosed with leukaemia (all subtypes combined).

See more in-depth leukaemia (all subtypes combined) incidence statistics

  • There are around 4,800 leukaemia deaths in the UK every year, that's 13 every day (2017-2019).
  • Leukaemia is the 12th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 3% of all cancer deaths (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, leukaemia is the 12th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,000 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, leukaemia is the 12th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,900 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for leukaemia in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2017-2019).
  • Each year around 6 in 10 of all leukaemia deaths (59%) in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2017-2019).
  • Since the early 1970s, leukaemia mortality rates have remained stable in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by more than a tenth (12%), and rates in males have remained stable (2017-2019).
  • Over the last decade, leukaemia mortality rates have decreased by more than a twentieth (7%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by around a tenth (9%), and rates in males have decreased by more than a twentieth (7%) (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for lymphomas, myeloma and leukaemias combined are generally lower or similar in people of non-White minority ethnicity, compared with the White ethnic group, in England and Wales (2017-2019). See the publication Mortality from leading causes of death by ethnic group, England and Wales.
  • Leukaemia mortality rates are projected to fall by 14% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.
  • There could be around around 5,300 deaths of leukaemia every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.

See more in-depth leukaemia (all subtypes combined) mortality statistics

  • Around 4 in 10 (41.2%) people diagnosed with leukaemia in England survive their disease for ten years or more, it is predicted (2013-2017).
  • Leukaemia ten-year survival in England is similar in females and males (2013-2017).
  • Around 7 in 10 (70.6%) people in England diagnosed with leukaemia aged 15-44 survive their disease for ten years or more, compared with around a fifth (20.5%) of people diagnosed aged 75-99 (2013-2017).
  • Leukaemia survival has more than quadrupled in the last 50 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, almost 1 in 10 (6.8%) people diagnosed with leukaemia survived their disease beyond ten years, by the 2010s it was almost half (46.2%). Further information on leukaemia survival trends over time can be found here.
  • 6 in 10 (59.6%) people in England diagnosed with leukaemia in the least deprived group survive their disease for five years or more, compared with more than half (52.8%) of people in the most deprived group (2016-2020).
  • For leukaemia cancer, like other cancer sites, survival trends reflect a combination of changes in treatment and stage distribution. These factors themselves can vary by age, sex and deprivation.
  • Further information on treatments for cancer can be found here.
  • Further one-, five- and ten-year survival statistics can be found on the Cancer Statistics Dashboard.

Find further information on our leukaemia cancer survival trends page

  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 12% of leukaemia cases in the UK are preventable.
  • 9% of leukaemia cases in the UK are caused by ionising radiation.
  • 3% of leukaemia cases in the UK are caused by smoking.
  • Less than 1% of leukaemia cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.
  • 1 in 80 UK females and 1 in 50 UK males will be diagnosed with leukaemia in their lifetime (born in 1961).
 
 

See the interactive cancer treatment online tool produced by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS) in partnership with Cancer Research UK (CRUK). This presents, for the first time, population-based statistics on chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgical tumour resections in England, by demographic factors and geography.

Want the key stats in the sections on this page as a document? or looking for a stats report of the in-depth stats? Use the print function at the bottom of any Cancer Stats page Share this page > Print or your browser options to print or save.

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, 2 Redman Place, London, E20 1JQ 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.