Lung cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2016-2018, UK

Deaths

Deaths from lung cancer, 2017-2019, UK.

 

Survival

Survive lung cancer  for 10 or more years, 2013-2017, England

Preventable cases

Lung cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 49,200 new lung cancer cases in the UK every year, that's more than 130 every day (2017-2019).
  • Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 23,800 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 25,400 new cases every year (2017-2019).
  • Incidence rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2016-2018).
  • Each year more than 4 in 10 (44%) of all new lung cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2016-2018).
  • Since the early 1990s, lung cancer incidence rates have decreased by around a tenth (9%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a third (32%), and rates in males have decreased by around a third (34%) (2016-2018).
  • Over the last decade, lung cancer incidence rates have remained stable in the UK. Rates in females have increased by around a seventh (13%), and rates in males have decreased by more than a tenth (12%) (2016-2018).
  • The most common specific location for lung cancers in the UK is the upper lobe of the bronchus or lung (2016-2018).
  • See our new Early Diagnosis Data Hub for statistics on stage at diagnosis for lung cancer.
  • Lung cancer incidence rates are projected to fall by 2% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.
  • There could be around 66,200 new cases of lung cancer every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.
  • Lung cancer incidence rates in England in females are 174% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are 168% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).
  • Around 14,300 cases of lung cancer each year in England are linked with deprivation (around 6,600 in females and around 7,800 in males).
  • Incidence rates for lung cancer 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.
  • An estimated 57,200 people who had previously been diagnosed with lung cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth lung cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 34,800 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 95 every day (2017-2019).
  • Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 21% of all cancer deaths (2017-2019).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 16,100 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 18,600 deaths every year (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2017-2019).
  • Each year half of all lung cancer deaths (50%) in the UK are in people aged 75 and over (2017-2019).
  • Since the early 1970s, lung cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost a third (31%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by more than three-quarters (77%), and rates in males have decreased by around three-fifths (59%) (2017-2019).
  • Over the last decade, lung cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost a sixth (16%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by almost a tenth (8%), and rates in males have decreased by around a quarter (24%) (2017-2019).
  • Mortality rates for lung cancer are generally lower 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.
  • Lung cancer mortality rates are projected to fall by 9% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040.
  • There could be around around 41,500 deaths of lung cancer every year in the UK by 2038-2040, projections suggest.
  • Lung cancer deaths in England are more common in people living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth lung cancer mortality statistics

  • 1 in 10 (9.5%) people diagnosed with lung cancer in England survive their disease for ten years or more, it is predicted (2013-2017).
  • Lung cancer ten-year survival in England is higher in females than males (2013-2017).
  • Almost a third (29.0%) of people in England diagnosed with lung cancer aged 15-44 survive their disease for ten years or more, compared with 5 in 100 (4.6%) people diagnosed aged 75-99 (2013-2017).
  • Lung cancer survival has not shown much improvement in the last 50 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, less than 5 in 100 (3.1%) people diagnosed with lung cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, by the 2010s it was 5 in 100 (4.9%).
  • A quarter (25.3%) of people in England diagnosed with lung cancer in the least deprived group survive their disease for five years or more, compared with almost a fifth (18.2%) of people in the most deprived group (2016-2020).
  • Five-year relative survival for lung cancer is generally below the European average in the UK. Further details on cancer survival in Europe can be found on the EUROCARE website.
  • For lung 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 survival statistics by stage can be found on the Early Diagnosis Data Hub and 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 lung 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).
  • Nearly 1 in 13 UK females and 1 in 14 UK males will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime (born in 1961).
  • 79% of lung cancer cases in the UK are preventable.
  • 72% of lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by smoking.
  • 5% of lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by ionising radiation.
  • 13% of lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by workplace exposures.
  • 8% of lung cancer cases in the UK are caused by air pollution.

See more in-depth lung cancer risk statistics

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.

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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.