Liver cancer statistics

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Safety netting patients during covid-19

Cases

New cases of liver cancer, 2015-2017, UK

Deaths

Deaths from liver cancer, 2016, UK.

Survival

Survive liver cancer for 5 or more years, 2013-2017, England

Prevention

Liver cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 6,100 new liver cancer cases in the UK every year, that's 17 every day (2015-2017).
  • Liver cancer is the 18th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 2% of all new cancer cases (2017).
  • In females in the UK, liver cancer is the 20th most common cancer, with around 2,100 new cases in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, liver cancer is the 15th most common cancer, with around 3,900 new cases in 2017.
  • Incidence rates for liver cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
  • Each year more than 4 in 10 (43%) of all new liver cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1990s, liver cancer incidence rates have increased by more than two-and-a-half times (166%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around two-and-a-half times (145%) and rates in males have increased by more than two-and-a-half times (166%) (2015-2017).
  • Over the last decade, liver cancer incidence rates have increased by more than half (52%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by almost half (46%), and rates in males have increased by around half (51%) (2015-2017).
  • Most liver cancers occur in the liver cells and the intrahepatic bile ducts.
  • Incidence rates for liver cancer are projected to rise by 38% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 15 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Liver cancer in England is more common in males living in the most deprived areas. There is no association for females.
  • Liver cancer is more common in Asian and Black people than White people.
  • An estimated 5,000 people who had previously been diagnosed with liver cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth liver cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 5,400 liver cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 15 every day (2015-2017).
  • Liver cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 3% of all cancer deaths (2017).
  • In females in the UK, liver cancer is the 11th most common cause of cancer death, with around 2,200 deaths in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, liver cancer is the 8th most common cause of cancer death, with around 3,500 deaths in 2017.
  • Mortality rates for liver cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1970s, liver cancer mortality rates have around tripled (216%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around three times (205%), and rates in males have around tripled (209%).
  • Over the last decade, liver cancer mortality rates have increased by around half (51%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by almost three-fifths (55%), and rates in rates in males have increased by almost half (47%).
  • Mortality rates for liver cancer are projected to rise by 58% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 16 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Liver cancer deaths in England are more common in people living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth liver cancer mortality statistics

  • Almost 4 in 10 (38.1%) of people diagnosed with liver cancer in England survive their disease for one year or more (2013-2017).
  • Almost 3 in 20 (12.7%) of people diagnosed with liver cancer in England survive their disease for five years or more (2013-2017).
  • Liver cancer survival for females is lower than for males at one- and five-years.
  • Around a quarter of people in England diagnosed with liver cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, almost 8 in 10 (78%) people with liver cancer will survive their disease for one year or more, compared with 1 in 5 (20%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
  • Five-year relative survival for liver cancer in men is below the European average in England and Scotland but similar to the European average in Wales and Northern Ireland.
  • Five-year relative survival for liver cancer in women is below the European average in England and Scotland but similar to the European average in Wales.
  • 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).
  • 1 in 58 UK males and 1 in 122 UK females will be diagnosed with liver cancer in their lifetime.
  • 49% of liver cancer cases in the UK are preventable.
  • 10% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by infections.
  • 20% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.
  • 7% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by alcohol drinking.
  • 23% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by overweight and obesity.
  • Less than 1% of liver cancer cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.

See more in-depth liver cancer risk statistics

  • 'Emergency presentation' is the most common route to diagnosing liver cancer.
  • ‘Two-week wait’ standards are met by all countries, ‘31-day wait’ is met by all but Northern Ireland, and ‘62-day wait’ is not met by any country for upper gastrointestinal cancers.
  • 20% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 4% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 24% of patients diagnosed with liver cancer have chemotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.

See more in-depth liver cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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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.