Lung cancer statistics

Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK

Deaths

Deaths from lung cancer, 2015-2017, UK

 

Survival

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

Preventable cases

Lung cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 47,200 new lung cancer cases in the UK every year, that's around 130 every day (2014-2016).
  • Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all new cancer cases (2016).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 22,300 new cases in 2016.
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer, with around 25,000 new cases in 2016.
  • Incidence rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2014-2016).
  • Since the early 1990s, lung cancer incidence rates have decreased by almost a tenth (8%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by more than a quarter (29%), and rates in males have decreased by around a third (32%).
  • Over the last decade, lung cancer incidence rates have increased by less than a twentieth (2%) in the UK. Rates in males have decreased by a tenth (10%), and rates in females have increased by a sixth (17%).
  • Around three-quarters of lung cancer cases are diagnosed at a late stage in England (2014), Scotland (2014-2015) and Northern Ireland (2010-2014).
  • Incidence rates for lung cancer are projected to fall by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 88 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Lung cancer in England is more common in people living in the most deprived areas.
  • Lung cancer is more common in White people than in Black or Asian people.
  • 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 35,300 lung cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's 97 every day (2015-2017).
  • Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 21% of all cancer deaths (2017).
  • In females in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 16,300 deaths in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death, with around 18,800 deaths in 2017.
  • Mortality rates for lung cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 85 to 89 (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1970s, lung cancer mortality rates have decreased by more than a quarter (28%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by more than four-fifths (84%), and rates in males have decreased by almost three-fifths (56%).
  • Over the last decade, lung cancer mortality rates have decreased by more than a tenth (12%) in the UK. Rates in females have remained stable, and rates in males have decreased by around a fifth (21%).
  • Mortality rates for lung cancer are projected to fall by 21% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 58 deaths per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Lung cancer deaths in England are more common in people living in the most deprived areas.

See more in-depth lung cancer mortality statistics

  • 5 in 100 (5%) of people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more (2010-11).
  • A tenth (10%) of people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for five years or more (2010-11).
  • Around a third (32%) of people diagnosed with lung cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for one year or more (2010-11).
  • Lung cancer survival is higher in women than men at one- and five-years but similar at ten-years.
  • Lung cancer survival in England is higher for people diagnosed aged under 40 years old (2009-2013).
  • Almost half of people in England diagnosed with lung cancer aged 15-39 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with more than 5 in 100 people diagnosed aged 80 and over (2009-2013).
  • Lung cancer survival has not shown much improvement in the last 40 years in the UK.
  • In the 1970s, less than 5 in 100 people diagnosed with lung cancer survived their disease beyond ten years, now it's 5 in 100.
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, more than a third of people with lung cancer will survive their disease for five years or more, compared with around 5 in 100 of people when diagnosed at a later stage.
  • Five-year relative survival for lung cancer in men is below the European average in England, Wales and Scotland but Northern Ireland is similar to the European average.
  • Five-year relative survival for lung cancer in women is below the European average in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

See more in-depth lung cancer 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).
  • 1 in 13 UK males and 1 in 15 UK females will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime.
  • 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

  • 'Emergency presentation' is the most common route to diagnosing lung cancer.
  • GP referral is the route with the highest proportion of cases diagnosed at an early stage, for lung 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 lung cancer.
  • 2% of patients diagnosed with Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 16% of patients diagnosed with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have surgery to remove the tumour as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 42% of patients diagnosed with Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 27% of patients diagnosed with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) have radiotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.
  • 68% of patients diagnosed with Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and 25% of patients diagnosed with Non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) chemotherapy as part of their primary cancer treatment.

See more in-depth lung 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.