Lung cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2016-2018, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage lung cancer is of total cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of lung cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Trend over time

Lung cancer incidence rates have changed differently for each sex since the early 1990s, UK

 

Lung cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 13% of all new cancer cases (2016-2018).[1-4]

In females in the UK, lung cancer is the 2nd most common cancer (13% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, it is the 2nd most common cancer (13% of all new male cancer cases).

48% of lung cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 52% are in males.

Lung cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rate Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly higher than the UK average in Scotland and Northern Ireland, significantly lower than the UK average in England, and similar to the UK average in Wales.

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

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Average Number of New Cases Per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 18,662 2,752 1,204 648 23,265
Crude Rate 66.3 98.8 76.0 68.1 69.5
AS Rate 67.4 95.6 69.3 74.8 70.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 66.8 93.5 67.0 71.5 69.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 68.0 97.7 71.5 78.2 70.7
Male Cases 20,678 2,603 1,309 694 25,284
Crude Rate 75.2 98.6 84.9 75.4 77.6
AS Rate 88.4 111.8 88.2 97.5 90.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 87.7 109.3 85.4 93.3 89.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 89.1 114.3 91.0 101.7 91.2
Persons Cases 39,340 5,355 2,513 1,342 48,549
Crude Rate 70.7 98.7 80.4 71.7 73.5
AS Rate 76.5 102.2 77.4 84.2 79.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 76.1 100.6 75.6 81.6 78.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 77.0 103.8 79.1 86.8 79.4

95% LCL and 95% UCL are the 95% lower and upper confidence limits around the AS Rate Open a glossary item

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, July 2021. 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 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in older people. In the UK in 2016-2018, on average each year more than 4 in 10 new cases (44%) were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 45-49 and drop in the oldest age groups. The highest rates are in in the 75 to 79 age group for females and the 85 to 89 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 times lower in females than males.

Lung cancer (C33-C34), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

For lung 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 National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (part of Public Health England), on request through the Office for Data Release, July 2021. 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 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined decreased by 9% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For females, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 32% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018. For males, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK decreased by 34% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), lung cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined remained stable. In females AS incidence rates increased by 13%, and in males rates decreased by 12%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993 to 2018

Lung cancer incidence rates have increased overall in some broad age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased or remained stable in others.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have increased by 163%, in 25-49s have decreased by 16%, in 50-59s have remained stable, in 60-69s have increased by 15%, in 70-79s have increased by 37% and in 80+s have increased by 80%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Female Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

Lung cancer incidence rates have decreased overall in most broad age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s, but have remained stable in some.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have decreased by 36%, in 50-59s have decreased by 44%, in 60-69s have decreased by 40%, in 70-79s have decreased by 32% and in 80+s have decreased by 25%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Male Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

For lung 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.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34) European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates and Smoking Prevalence, Great Britain, 1948-2018 [1-6]

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, July 2021. 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 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/, March 2021.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  5. Sex specific smoking prevalence in Great Britain 1948 to 1970. PN Lee Statistics and Computing Ltd. International Smoking Statistics Web Edition (http://www.pnlee.co.uk/iss2.htm)

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2018, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

The most common specific location for lung cancers in the UK is the upper lobe of the bronchus or lung (2016-2018).[1-4] Variation of incidence by anatomical site may reflect the physical size of each site, and differences in risk factor exposure by site, among other factors.

Download this data

Cases and percentages may not sum due to rounding

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, July 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://www.ons.gov.uk
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications.
  3. Data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit, Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales, March 2021. https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-incidence-in-wales-2002-2018/.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2020. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C33-C34. For some cases the specific location of the cancer is not recorded, this may be due to clinical or data recording factors.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer incidence rates are projected to fall by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 88 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger decrease for males than for females.

For males, lung cancer European age standardised (AS) incidence rates in the UK are projected to fall by 14% between 2014 and 2035, to 97 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by less than 1% between 2014 and 2035, to 80 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Lung cancer (C33-C34), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 62,832 cases of lung cancer (32,875 in males, 29,957 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 C33-C34

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:

Lung cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) 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).[1]

It is estimated that there are around 14,300 more cases of lung cancer each year in England than there would be if every deprivation quintile had the same age-specific crude incidence rates as the least deprived quintile. Around 6,600 of these cases are in females, and around 7,800 in males.

In the text above, males and females’ excess cases do not sum to persons excess cases due to rounding.
 

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Estimated Average Number of Excess Cases per Year and European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2013-2017

References

  1. Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, April 2020. Based on method reported in National Cancer Intelligence Network Cancer by Deprivation in England Incidence, 1996-2010 Mortality, 1997-2011 . Using cancer incidence data 2013-2017 (Public Health England) and population data 2013-2017 (Office for National Statistics) by Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2015 income domain quintile, cancer type, sex, and five-year age band.

About this data

Data is for England, 2013-2017, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

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