Leukaemia (all subtypes combined) statistics

Cases

New cases of leukaemia, 2015, UK

Deaths

Deaths from leukaemia, 2016, UK

Survival

Survive leukaemia for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales

Preventable cases

Leukaemia cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 9,900 new leukaemia cases in the UK every year, that's 27 every day (2013-2015).
  • Leukaemia is the 12th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases (2015).
  • In males in the UK, leukaemia is the 10th most common cancer, with around 5,900 new cases in 2015.
  • In females in the UK, leukaemia is the 12th most common cancer, with around 4,000 new cases in 2015.
  • Incidence rates for leukaemia in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2013-2015).
  • Since the early 1990s, leukaemia incidence rates have increased by around a sixth (18%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by around a seventh (15%), and rates in females have increased by around a seventh (14%).
  • Over the last decade, leukaemia incidence rates have increased by around a tenth (9%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by almost a tenth (8%), and rates in females have increased by around a twentieth (7%).
  • Incidence rates for leukaemia are projected to rise by 5% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 19 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Leukaemia is more common in White and Black males than in Asian males.
  • Leukaemia is more common in White females than in Asian or Black females.
  • 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).
  • In Europe, around 82,300 new cases of leukaemia were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is 14th highest in Europe for males and 19th lowest for females.
  • Worldwide, around 352,000 people were estimated to have been diagnosed with leukaemia in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.

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

  • There are around 4,600 leukaemia deaths in the UK every year, that's 13 every day (2014-2016).
  • Leukaemia is the 12th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 3% of all cancer deaths (2016).
  • In males in the UK, leukaemia is the 14th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,700 deaths in 2016.
  • In females in the UK, leukaemia is the 12th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,000 deaths in 2016.
  • Mortality rates for leukaemia in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1970s, leukaemia mortality rates have remained stable in the UK. Rates in males have remained stable, and rates in females have decreased by around a tenth (9%).
  • Over the last decade, leukaemia mortality rates have decreased by more than a twentieth (7%) in the UK. Rates in males have decreased by almost a tenth (8%), and rates in females have decreased by around a tenth (9%).
  • Mortality rates for leukaemia are projected to fall by 18% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 8 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • In Europe, around 53,800 people were estimated to have died from leukaemia in 2012. The UK mortality rate is 12th lowest in Europe for males and ninth lowest for females.
  • Worldwide, more than 265,000 people died from leukaemia in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.

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

  • Almost half (46%) of people diagnosed with leukaemia in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • More than half (52%) of people diagnosed with leukaemia in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Around 7 in 10 (69%) people diagnosed with leukaemia in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Leukaemia survival is higher in men than women.
  • More than 7 in 10 people in England diagnosed with leukaemia aged 40-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around a quarter of people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Leukaemia survival is improving and has more than quadrupled in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, more than 5 in 100 of people diagnosed with leukaemia survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's almost half.

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

  • 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.
  • ‘Two-week wait’ and ’31-day wait’ standards are met by all countries, and ‘62-day wait’ is not met by any country for haematological cancers.

See more in-depth leukaemia (all subtypes combined) diagnosis and treatment statistics

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.

The latest statistics available for leukaemia (all subtypes combined) in the UK are; incidence 2015, mortality 2016 and survival 2010-2011 (all ages combined) and 2009-2013 (by age).

Leukaemia statistics specifically for children and young people are also provided.

The ICD codes Open a glossary item for leukaemia (all subtypes combined) are ICD-10 C91-C95.

The term 'leukaemia' covers cancers of the white blood cells and bone marrow. Statistics for the four main subtypes of leukaemia are also provided: acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, chronic lymphocytic leukaemia, acute myeloid leukaemia and chronic myeloid leukaemia. These types differ substantially in their cellular origin and clinical behaviour. As such it is important to recognise this when interpreting statistics on mortality from the group 'leukaemia' as a whole.

European Age-Standardised Rates were calculated using the 1976 European Standard Population (ESP) unless otherwise stated as calculated with ESP2013. ASRs calculated with ESP2013 are not comparable with ASRs calculated with ESP1976.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages Open a glossary item and co-morbidities Open a glossary item. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, please see our patient information.

Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. Leukaemia is part of the group 'Haematological cancers' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Hodgkin lymphoma, follicular and non-follicular lymphoma, mature T/NK-cell lymphoma, other and unspecified types of NHL, other and unspecified types of T/NK-cell lymphoma, malignant immunoproliferative diseases, myeloma, lymphoid, myeloid and monocytic leukaemia, some other leukaemia of specific or unspecified cell type, and other and unspecified malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue. Acute leukaemia is presented separately.

Patient Experience data is for adult patients in England with a primary diagnosis of cancer, who were in active treatment between September and November 2013 and who completed a survey in 2014.

Last reviewed:

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: 3.3 out of 5 based on 54 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think