Lung cancer incidence statistics

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Cases

New cases of lung cancer, 2015-2017, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage lung cancer is of total cancer cases, 2015-2017, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of lung cancer cases, 2015-2017, 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 (2017).[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) rates Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly higher than the UK average in Scotland, significantly lower than the UK average in England and Wales, and similar to the UK average in Northern Ireland.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2017

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 18,573 2,754 1,163 597 23,087
Crude Rate 66.0 98.9 73.4 62.8 69.0
AS Rate 67.0 95.7 67.1 69.2 69.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 66.1 92.1 63.2 63.7 68.7
AS Rate - 95% UCL 68.0 99.3 70.9 74.8 70.5
Male Cases 20,333 2,604 1,251 693 24,881
Crude Rate 74.0 98.6 81.2 75.3 76.4
AS Rate 86.9 111.7 84.0 97.8 89.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 85.7 107.4 79.4 90.6 88.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 88.1 116.0 88.7 105.1 90.2
Persons Cases 38,906 5,358 2,414 1,290 47,968
Crude Rate 70.0 98.8 77.2 69.0 72.6
AS Rate 75.7 102.2 74.2 81.2 78.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 74.9 99.5 71.2 76.7 77.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 76.4 105.0 77.1 85.6 78.7

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

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, November 2019. 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 2019. 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, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017, 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 2015-2017, 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 group.The highest rates are in in the 80 to 84 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, 2015-2017

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, November 2019. 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 2019. 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, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2015-2017, C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined decreased by 8% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For females, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 31% between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017. For males, lung cancer AS incidence rates in the UK decreased by 33% between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2005-2007 and 2015-2017), lung cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 1%.[1-4] In females AS incidence rates increased by 15%, and in males rates decreased by 11%.

Lung Cancer (ICD-10 C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2017

Lung cancer incidence rates have increased overall in most broad adult age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in some.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have decreased by 16%, in 50-59s have increased by 9%, in 60-69s have increased by 14%, in 70-79s have increased by 34%, and in 80+s have increased by 80%.

Lung Cancer (ICD-10 C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2017

Lung cancer incidence rates have decreased overall in all broad adult age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s, but have remained stable in some.[1-4] Rates in 25-49s have decreased by 38%, in 50-59s have decreased by 44%, in 60-69s have decreased by 39%, in 70-79s have decreased by 32%, and in 80+s have decreased by 23%.

Lung Cancer (ICD-10 C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1993-2017

For lung cancer, like most cancer types, incidence trends largely reflect changing revalence 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, 1948-2017

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, November 2019. 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 2019. 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, December 2019. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wcisu.wales.nhs.uk.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, May 2019. 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
  6. Adult smoking habits in the UK: 1974-2017 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/healthandlifeexpectancies/bulletins/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain/2017

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2017, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Overall stage at diagnosis

A high proportion (85-95%) of lung cancer cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have stage at diagnosis recorded.[1-3]

Lung cancer patients with a known stage are most commonly diagnosed at stage IV (49-53%). More people with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (72-76% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (24-28% are diagnosed at stage I or II).[1-3]

The stage distribution for each cancer type will reflect many factors including how the cancer type develops, the way symptoms appear, public awareness of symptoms, how quickly a person goes to see their doctor and how quickly the cancer is recognised and diagnosed by a doctor. It might also relate to whether a national screening programme that can detect early stage disease exists for that cancer type, along with the extent of uptake of that programme.

A cancer type associated with a large proportion of early stage diagnoses could be one that is more likely to be symptomatic at an earlier stage of development, with recognisable symptoms rather than more generic ones.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England 2014, Scotland 2014-2015 and Northern Ireland 2010-2014

Data should not be compared between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in recording of stage at diagnosis.
 

Stage at diagnosis by deprivation

Late stage at diagnosis of lung cancer is not associated with deprivation in England.[4]

Stage at diagnosis by age

Late stage at diagnosis of lung cancer is more common in younger adults (aged 15-59) in England (81% diagnosed at stage III or IV) compared to older adults aged 80+ (77% diagnosed at stage III or IV) and adults aged 60-79 (76% diagnosed at stage III or IV).[4]

There are no differences between late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer between those aged 60-79 and 80+ in England.[4]

Stage at diagnosis by sex

Late stage at diagnosis of lung is associated with male sex in England. Among adults aged 15-99 in England, 78% of males are diagnosed at stage III or IV, versus 75% of females.[4]

These patterns by deprivation, age and sex are probably not explained  by other demographic differences.[5]

Stage at diagnosis by Ethnicity

Late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer in England is more common in Asian-Pakistani adults (75% diagnosed at stage III or IV) and Black Caribbean adults (71% diagnosed at stage III or IV), compared to White British adults (66% diagnosed at stage III or IV) after adjusting for age, sex and deprivation status.[6]

Late stage at diagnosis for lung cancer in England is less common in Asian-Indian adults (61% diagnosed at stage III or IV), compared to White British adults (75% diagnosed at stage III or IV) after adjusting for age, sex and deprivation status.[6]

References

  1. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCIN; 2016.
  2. ISD Scotland, Detect Cancer Early Staging Data. Scotland: ISD; 2016.
  3. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry, Queens University Belfast, Incidence by stage 2010-2014. Belfast: NICR; 2016.
  4. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Routes to diagnosis of cancer by stage 2012-2013 workbook. London: NCRAS; 2016.
  5. Lyratzopoulos G, Abel G, Brown C, et al. Socio-demographic inequalities in stage of cancer diagnosis: evidence from patients with female breast, lung, colon, rectal, prostate, renal, bladder, melanoma, ovarian and endometrial cancer. Annals of Oncology, 2012:843-50.
  6. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Ethnicity and stage at diagnosis. London: NCRAS; 2016

About this data

Data is for: England 2014 ICD-10 C34, Scotland 2014-2015 and Northern Ireland 2010-2014, ICD-10 C33-C34 (overall stage at diagnosis) and England, 2012-2013, ICD-10 C33-C34 (stage at diagnosis by deprivation, age, sex, and ethnicity)

Data is not comparable between countries due to differences in time periods and possible differences in how countries record stage at diagnosis.

The proportions of patients diagnosed late only include cases with a known stage at diagnosis and are not adjusted for other demographics differences (e.g. age, sex, ethnicity) unless stated otherwise

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:

Age-standardised Open a glossary item rates for White males with lung cancer range from 61.1 to 62.6 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 23.1 to 37.2 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 30.1 to 48.9 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 35.2 to 36.0 per 100,000, while rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower ranging from 6.9 to 12.4 per 100,000 and 8.5 to 15.1 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For lung cancer, 155,679 cases were identified; 23% 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 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

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