Liver cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of liver cancer, 2015, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage liver cancer is of total cancer cases, 2015, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of liver cancer cases, 2013-2015, UK

 

Trend over time

Change in liver cancer incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

Liver cancer is the 18th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 2% of all new cancer cases (2015).[1-4]

In males in the UK, liver cancer is the 15th most common cancer (2% of all new male cancer cases). In females in the UK it is the 20th most common cancer (1% of all new female cancer cases).

64% of liver cancer cases in the UK are in males, and 36% are in females.

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

Liver Cancer (C22), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2015

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Male Cases 2,977 405 223 80 3,685
Crude Rate 11.0 15.5 14.6 8.8 11.5
AS Rate 13.0 17.5 15.3 11.4 13.5
AS Rate - 95% LCI 12.6 15.8 13.3 8.9 13.0
AS Rate - 95% UCI 13.5 19.2 17.3 13.9 13.9
Female Cases 1,696 204 97 54 2,051
Crude Rate 6.1 7.4 6.2 5.7 6.2
AS Rate 6.2 7.2 5.6 6.4 6.2
AS Rate - 95% LCI 5.9 6.2 4.5 4.7 5.9
AS Rate - 95% UCI 6.4 8.2 6.7 8.1 6.5
Persons Cases 4,673 609 320 134 5,736
Crude Rate 8.5 11.3 10.3 7.2 8.8
AS Rate 9.3 11.9 10.2 8.7 9.6
AS Rate - 95% LCI 9.1 10.9 9.0 7.3 9.3
AS Rate - 95% UCI 9.6 12.8 11.3 10.2 9.8

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 liver cancer, like most cancer types, differences between countries largely reflect risk factor prevalence in years past.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015, ICD-10 C22.

Last reviewed:

Liver cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2013-2015, on average each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4] A small proportion of liver cancers occur in children.

Age-specific incidence rates rise from around age 40-44, steadily for females and more steeply for males. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for males and females.

Incidence rates are significantly higher in males than females in a number of (mainly older) age groups. The gap is widest at age 60 to 64, when the age-specific incidence rate is 3.2 times higher in males than females.

Liver Cancer (C22), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2013-2015

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 liver cancer, 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 Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2013-2015, ICD-10 C22.

Last reviewed:

Liver cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 151% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.[1-4] The increase was of a similar size in males and females.

For males, liver cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 152% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015. For females, liver cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 132% between 1993-1995 and 2013-2015.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2003-2005 and 2013-2015), liver cancer AS incidence rates for males and females combined increased by 63%. In males AS incidence rates increased by 65%, and in females rates increased by 53%.

Liver Cancer (C22), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2015

Liver cancer incidence rates have increased overall in all broad adult age groups in males and females combined in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have increased by 90%, in 50-59s have increased by 133%, in 60-69s have increased by 141%, in 70-79s have increased by 148%, and in 80+s have increased by 195%.

Liver Cancer (C22), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, UK, 1993-2015

For liver cancer, like most cancer types, incidence trends largely reflect changing prevalence of risk factors and improvements in diagnosis and data recording. Recent incidence trends are influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past, and trends by age group reflect risk factor exposure in birth cohorts.

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2017. 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, August 2017. 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, October 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, July 2017. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2015, ICD-10 C22.

Last reviewed:

In males, most liver cancer cases are liver cell carcinomas, with much smaller proportions as intrahepatic bile duct carcinomas Open a glossary item, hepatoblastomas and angiosarcomas Open a glossary item of the liver (2010-2012).[1-4]

In females, most liver cancer cases are intrahepatic bile duct carcinomas, with smaller proportions as liver cell carcinomas and much smaller proportions as hepatoblastomas and angiosarcomas of the liver (2010-2012).[1-4]

Most liver cell carcinomas are hepatocellular carcinomas Open a glossary item, and most intrahepatic bile duct carcinomas are cholangiocarcinomas Open a glossary item.[5]

The proportion of liver cell carcinomas is higher in males (61.1%) than females (31.8%), whereas the proportion of intrahepatic bile duct carcinomas is higher in females (53.1%) than in males (26.6%). There are no marked sex differences in other types of liver cancer.[1-4]

A moderate proportion of cases did not have the type of liver cancer recorded in cancer registry data.[1-4]

Liver Cancer (C22), Percentage Distribution of Cases Diagnosed By Morphological Type, by Sex, UK, 2010-2012

Male Female
Morphological Type (ICD-10 code) Average Cases % Average Cases %
Liver Cell Carcinoma (C22.0) 1,760 61.1% 523 31.8%
Intrahepatic Bile Duct Carcinoma (C22.1) 765 26.6% 874 53.1%
Hepatoblastoma (C22.2) 13 0.5% 7 0.4%
Angiosarcoma of Liver (C22.3) 8 0.3% 4 0.3%
Other Sarcomas of Liver (C22.4) 5 0.2% 5 0.3%
Other Specified and Unspecified Carcinomas of Liver (C22.7, C22.9) 328 11.4% 231 14.0%
Total 2,879 100.0% 1,645 100.0%

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.
  5. West J, Wood H, Logan RF, et al. Trends in the incidence of primary liver and biliary tract cancers in England and Wales 1971-2001. Brit J C 2006;94:1751-8.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2010-2012, ICD-10 C22

Last reviewed:

Liver cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 38% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 15 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger increase for males than for females.

For males, liver cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 43% between 2014 and 2035, to 23 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 21% between 2014 and 2035, to 8 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Liver cancer (C22), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 11,133 cases of liver cancer (7,770 in males, 3,364 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 C22

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:

There is evidence for a strong association between liver cancer incidence and deprivation for males in England, but there is no evidence for an association for females.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates are 107% higher for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, but for females the rates are similar for those living in the least and most deprived areas.[1]

Liver Cancer (C22), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in liver cancer incidence for males and females living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010.[1] It has been estimated that there would have been around 650 fewer cancer cases each year in England during 2006-2010 if all people experienced the same incidence rates as the least deprived.[1]

References

  1. Cancer Research UK and National Cancer Intelligence Network. Cancer by deprivation in England: Incidence, 1996-2010, Mortality, 1997-2011. London: NCIN; 2014.

Data is for UK, 2006-2010, ICD-10 C22

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for 2006-2010. The deprivation quintiles were calculated using the Income domain scores from the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) from the following years: 2004, 2007 and 2010. Full details on the data and methodology can be found in the Cancer by Deprivation in England NCIN report.

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White males with liver cancer range from 4.7 to 5.1 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly higher, ranging from 6.9 to 12.4 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly higher, ranging from 6.9 to 13.6 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 2.2 to 2.4 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly higher ranging from 3.1 to 6.0 per 100,000 and 2.5 to 5.4 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For liver cancer, 12,427 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 England, 2002-2006, ICD-10 C22.

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

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: 1.9 out of 5 based on 14 votes
Thank you!
We've recently made some changes to the site, tell us what you think