Lung cancer mortality statistics

Deaths

Deaths from lung cancer, 2017-2019, UK

 

Proportion of all deaths

Percentage lung cancer contributes to total cancer deaths, 2017-2019, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of lung cancer deaths, 2017-2019, UK

 

Trend over time

Lung cancer mortality rates have changed differently for each sex since the early 1970s, UK

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death in the UK, accounting for 21% of all cancer deaths (2017-2019).[1-4]

In females in the UK, lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death (21% of all female cancer deaths). In males in the UK, it is the most common cause of cancer death (21% of all male cancer deaths).

46% of lung cancer deaths in the UK are in females, and 54% are in males (2017-2019).

Lung cancer mortality rates (European age-standardised Open a glossary item (AS) rates) in the UK are significantly lower in females than in males (2017-2019).

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

For lung cancer, mortality differences between countries largely reflect differences in incidence.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Annual Average Number of Deaths, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Mortality Rates per 100,000 Persons Population, UK, 2017-2019

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Deaths 12,749 2,028 883 480 16,140
Crude Rate 45.0 72.7 55.5 50.2 48.0
AS Rate 44.6 69.2 49.5 54.4 47.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 44.2 67.5 47.6 51.6 46.9
AS Rate - 95% UCL 45.1 71.0 51.3 57.2 47.7
Male Deaths 15,047 2,020 1,014 550 18,631
Crude Rate 54.4 76.2 65.6 59.4 56.8
AS Rate 63.6 86.3 67.7 77.0 66.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 63.0 84.1 65.3 73.3 65.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 64.2 88.5 70.1 80.7 66.6
Persons Deaths 27,795 4,048 1,898 1,030 34,771
Crude Rate 49.7 74.4 60.5 54.7 52.3
AS Rate 53.0 76.4 57.4 63.8 55.5
AS Rate - 95% LCL 52.6 75.0 55.9 61.5 55.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 53.3 77.7 58.9 66.0 55.8

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

References

  1. England and Wales data were accessed from Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age, November 2021: Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age.
  2. Scotland data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, November 2021. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp(link is external).
  3. Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, February 2022. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  4. Population data were published by the Office for National statistics, accessed July 2020. The data can be found here: Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, provisional: mid-2019.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer mortality is strongly related to age, with the highest mortality rates being in older people. In the UK in 2017-2019, on average each year half of deaths (50%) were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4] This largely reflects higher incidence and lower survival for lung cancer in older people.

Age-specific mortality rates rise steeply from around age 55-59. The highest rates are in the 85 to 89 age group for females and the 90+ age group for males. Mortality 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 mortality rate is 1.9 times lower in females than males.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), Average Number of Deaths per Year and Age-Specific Mortality Rates per 100,000 Persons Population, UK, 2017-2019

References

  1. England and Wales data were accessed from Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age, November 2021: Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age.
  2. Scotland data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, November 2021. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp(link is external).
  3. Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, February 2022. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  4. Population data were published by the Office for National statistics, accessed July 2020. The data can be found here: Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, provisional: mid-2019.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, ICD-10 C33-C34.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item mortality rates for females and males combined decreased by 31% in the UK between 1971-1973 and 2017-2019.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For females, lung cancer AS mortality rates in the UK increased by 77% between 1971-1973 and 2017-2019. For males, lung cancer AS mortality rates in the UK decreased by 59% between 1971-1973 and 2017-2019.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2007-2009 and 2017-2019), lung cancer AS mortality rates for females and males combined decreased by 16%. In females AS mortality rates decreased by 8%, and in males rates decreased by 24%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates per 100,000 Persons Population, UK, 1971-2019

For most cancer types, mortality trends largely reflect incidence and survival trends. For example, rising mortality may reflect rising incidence and stable survival, while falling mortality may reflect rising incidence and rising survival.

Lung cancer mortality rates have varied between age groups in females in the UK since the early 1970s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have decreased by 58%, in 50-59s have decreased by 32%, in 60-69s have increased by 39%, in 70-79s have increased by 143% and in 80+s have increased by 254%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates per 100,000 Female Population, By Age, UK, 1971-2019

Lung cancer mortality rates have decreased overall in all broad age groups in males in the UK since the early 1970s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have decreased by 78% (though the absolute change is very small as rates are overall low in this age group), in 25-49s have decreased by 81%, in 50-59s have decreased by 79%, in 60-69s have decreased by 72%, in 70-79s have decreased by 60% and in 80+s have decreased by 5%.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates per 100,000 Male Population, By Age, UK, 1971-2019

Lung cancer mortality trends by age between 1950 and 1970 show the early stages of the patterns seen in the data from 1971 onwards: rates peaked and then started to fall in the youngest age groups first, with each subsequent age group then peaking and falling one after the other. [5-7] This reflects trends by age in smoking prevalence, and as reliable cancer incidence data are not available pre-1970s so mortality data from the 1950s and 1960s is important evidence of the association between cigarette smoking trends and lung cancer trends. The drop in general population smoking rates over time is driven by never-smokers not starting smoking, rather than current smokers quitting; younger age groups had their peak smoking rates earlier in the 20th century and have since been increasingly less likely to smoke, while older age groups started smoking at a young age and never gave up, so their smoking rates began to fall only when smokers began to die.

Lung Cancer (C33-C34) European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates and Smoking Prevalence, Great Britain, 1948-2019

References

  1. England and Wales data were accessed from Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age, November 2021: Nomis mortality statistics by underlying cause, sex and age.
  2. Scotland data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, November 2021. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp(link is external).
  3. Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, February 2022. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.
  4. Population data were published by the Office for National statistics, accessed July 2020. The data can be found here: Population estimates for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, provisional: mid-2019.
  5. Swerdlow AJ, dos Santos Silva I, and Doll R. Cancer Incidence and Mortality in England Wales: trends and risk factors. 2001: Oxford University Press.

  6. Doll R and Hill AB. Smoking and carcinoma of the lung. Preliminary report. British Medical Journal 1950:739-48.

  7. Quinn M, Babb P, Brock A et al. Cancer Trends in England Wales 1950-1999. Vol. SMPS No. 66. 2001: TSO.

  8. Sex specific smoking prevalence in Great Britain 1948-1970. PN Lee Statistics and Computing Ltd. International Smoking Statistics Web Edition (http://www.pnlee.co.uk/iss2.htm)

  9. Adult smoking habits in Great Britain: 1974-2020 https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/healthandsocialcare/drugusealcoholandsmoking/datasets/adultsmokinghabitsingreatbritain

     

About this data

Data is for UK, 1971-2019, C33-C34.

Cancers in children and young people (aged 0-24) are best classified using a different system to cancers in adults, so the figures presented here may not correspond with those elsewhere.

Last reviewed:

Lung cancer mortality rates are projected to fall by 21% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 58 deaths 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) Open a glossary item mortality rates in the UK are projected to fall by 28% between 2014 and 2035, to 65 deaths per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to fall by 14% between 2014 and 2035, to 52 deaths per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

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

It is projected that 41,831 deaths from lung cancer (22,227 in males, 19,604 in females) will occur 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:

There is evidence for a strong association between lung cancer mortality and deprivation for both males and females in England.[1] England-wide data for 2007-2011 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item mortality rates are 170% higher for males living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived, and 176% higher for females.[1]

Lung Cancer (C33-C44), European Age-Standardised Mortality Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2007-2011

The estimated deprivation gradient in lung cancer mortality between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 2002-2011. It has been estimated that there would have been around 9,900 fewer lung cancer deaths each year in England during 2007-2011 if all people experienced the same mortality 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.

About this data

Data is for: UK, 2007-2011, ICD-10 (C33-C44)

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using mortality data for 2007-2011. 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:

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