Leukaemia (all subtypes combined) incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of leukaemia, 2014-2016 average, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage leukaemia is of total cancer cases, 2014-2016 average, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of leukaemia cases, 2014-2016, UK

 

Trend over time

Change in leukaemia incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

Leukaemia is the 13th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases (2016).[1-4]

In females in the UK it is the 12th most common cancer (1% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, leukaemia is the 10th most common cancer (3% of all new male cancer cases).

40% of leukaemia cases in the UK are in females, and 60% are in males.

Leukaemia incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly lower than the UK average in Scotland and Northern Ireland, and similar to the UK average in all other UK constituent countries.

Leukaemia (C91-C95), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 3,268 243 200 78 3,789
Crude Rate 11.7 8.7 12.7 8.2 11.4
AS Rate 11.7 8.6 11.8 8.7 11.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 11.3 7.5 10.1 6.8 11.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 12.1 9.7 13.4 10.7 11.8
Male Cases 4,940 363 297 114 5,714
Crude Rate 18.1 13.8 19.4 12.5 17.6
AS Rate 20.8 15.6 20.1 15.2 20.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 20.2 14.0 17.8 12.4 19.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 21.4 17.2 22.4 18.0 20.7
Persons Cases 8,208 606 497 192 9,503
Crude Rate 14.9 11.2 16.0 10.3 14.5
AS Rate 15.9 11.6 15.7 11.7 15.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 15.5 10.7 14.3 10.1 15.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 16.2 12.6 17.1 13.4 15.7

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 leukaemia, there are few established risk factors therefore differences between countries largely reflect differences in diagnosis and data recording.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, August 2018. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, February 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016, ICD-10 C91-C95.

The term leukaemia describes four main subtypes, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukaemia (CML) and chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), as well as a number of less common types. It is important to recognise the variation between these subtypes when interpreting statistics on leukaemia as a whole.

Last reviewed:

Leukaemia incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2014-2016, on average each year almost 4 in 10 (38%) new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates fall gradually from age 0-4 and remain stable throughout childhood and early adulthood, rates rise sharply from around age 45-49. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and the 90+ age group for males.

Incidence rates are significantly lower in females than males in a number of (mainly older) age groups. The gap is widest at age 90+, when the age-specific incidence rate is 2.1 times lower in females than males.

Leukaemia (C91-C95), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014-2016

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 leukaemia, like most cancer types, incidence increases with age. This largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors. A drop or plateau in incidence in the oldest age groups often indicates reduced diagnostic activity perhaps due to general ill health.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, August 2018. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, February 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2014-2016, ICD-10 C91-C95.

The term leukaemia describes four main subtypes, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukaemia (CML) and chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), as well as a number of less common types. It is important to recognise the variation between these subtypes when interpreting statistics on leukaemia as a whole.

Last reviewed:

Leukaemia European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 16% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016.[1-4] The increase was of a similar size in females and males.

For females, leukaemia AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 12% between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016. For males, leukaemia AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 14% between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2004-2006 and 2014-2016), leukaemia AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 8%. In females AS incidence rates increased by 6%, and in males rates increased by 7%.

Leukaemia (ICD-10 C91-C95), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2016

Leukaemia incidence rates have increased overall in all broad age groups in females and males combined in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have increased by 10%, in 25-49s have increased by 15%, in 50-59s have increased by 15%, in 60-69s have increased by 21%, in 70-79s have increased by 22%, and in 80+s have increased by 10%.

Leukaemia (ICD-10 C91-C95), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, UK, 1993-2016

For leukaemia there are few established risk factors, therefore increasing incidence in the 1980s and 1990s may largely reflect improvements in diagnosis and data recording.

References

  1. Data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, August 2018. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/conditionsanddiseases/bulletins/cancerregistrationstatisticsengland/previousReleases
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales on request, February 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2016, ICD-10 C91-C95.

The term leukaemia describes four main subtypes, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), chronic lymphoblastic leukaemia (CLL), acute myeloid leukaemia (CML) and chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML), as well as a number of less common types. It is important to recognise the variation between these subtypes when interpreting statistics on leukaemia as a whole.

Last reviewed:

Leukaemia incidence rates are projected to rise by 5% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 19 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes an increase for males and a drop for females.

For males, leukaemia European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 6% between 2014 and 2035, to 26 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by 1% between 2014 and 2035, to 13 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Leukaemia (C91-C95), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 13,758 cases of leukaemia (8,714 in males, 5,044 in females) will be diagnosed 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 C91-C95

Projections are based on observed incidence and mortality rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors, diagnosis and treatment. 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:

Age-standardised  Open a glossary itemrates for White males with leukaemia range from 12.3 to 12.9 per 100,000. Rates for Black males are similar, ranging from 7.7 to 14.2 per 100,000 and the rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 6.3 to 10.6 per 100,000. For females there is a different pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 7.3 to 7.7 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are similar ranging from 4.1 to 7.3 per 100,000 and 4.7 to 8.9 per 100,000.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For leukaemia, 30,818 cases were identified; 24% had no known ethnicity.

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network and Cancer Research UK. Cancer Incidence and Survival by Major Ethnic Group, England, 2002-2006. 2009.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2002-2006, ICD-10 C91-C95.

Last reviewed:

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).[1]

Leukaemia (C91-C95), One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence, UK, 31st December 2006

1 Year Prevalence 5 Year Prevalence 10 Year Prevalence
Male 2,668 10,053 15,738
Female 1,847 7,058 11,430
Persons 4,515 17,111 27,168

Worldwide, it is estimated that there were around 500,000 men and women still alive in 2008, up to five years after their diagnosis.[2]

References

  1. NCIN. One, Five and Ten Year Cancer Prevalence by Cancer Network, UK, 2006. London: NCIN; 2010
  2. Ferlay J, Shin HR, Bray F, et al. GLOBOCAN 2008 v1.2, Cancer incidence and mortality worldwide: IARC CancerBase No. 10 [Internet]. Lyon, France: International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. Available from http://globocan.iarc.fr. Accessed May 2011.

About this data

Data is for: All UK patients who had been diagnosed with leukaemia between 1997 and 2006, ICD-10 C91-95.

Last reviewed:

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

We’re now on twitter.

Join the conversation and follow @TalkCancer_CRUK for news, updates and opinion.

@TalkCancer_CRUK

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.