Mesothelioma incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of mesothelioma each year, 2016-2018 average, UK.

 

Proportion of all cases

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

 

Age

Peak rate of mesothelioma cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Trend over time

Change in mesothelioma incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

 

Mesothelioma is not among the 20 most common cancers in the UK, accounting for less than 1% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).[1-5 ]

In females in the UK, mesothelioma is not among the 20 most common cancers (less than 1% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, it is the 18th most common cancer (1% of all new male cancer cases).

17% of mesothelioma cases in the UK are in females, and 83% are in males.

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

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

 

 

Mesothelioma (C45), Average Number of New Cases Per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2017-2019

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 410 27 17 9 463
Crude Rate 1.4 1.0 1.1 0.9 1.4
AS Rate 1.4 0.9 1.0 1.0 1.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 1.4 0.7 0.7 0.6 1.3
AS Rate - 95% UCL 1.5 1.1 1.3 1.4 1.4
Male Cases 1,939 172 89 44 2,244
Crude Rate 7.0 6.5 5.8 4.7 6.8
AS Rate 8.3 7.5 5.9 6.2 8.0
AS Rate - 95% LCL 8.1 6.9 5.2 5.2 7.8
AS Rate - 95% UCL 8.5 8.2 6.6 7.3 8.2
Persons Cases 2,349 199 107 53 2,707
Crude Rate 4.2 3.7 3.4 2.8 4.1
AS Rate 4.5 3.8 3.2 3.3 4.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 4.4 3.5 2.9 2.8 4.2
AS Rate - 95% UCL 4.6 4.1 3.6 3.8 4.4

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

References

  1. England data were provided by the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), part of the National Disease Registration Service (NDRS) in NHS England, on request through the Office for Data Release, January 2023. Similar data can be found here: https://www.cancerdata.nhs.uk/  

  2. Scotland data were provided by the Scottish Cancer Registry, Public Health Scotland (PHS) on request, May 2021. Similar data can be found here: https://publichealthscotland.scot/publications/show-all-releases?id=20468  

  3. Welsh data were published by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit (WCISU), Health Intelligence Division, Public Health Wales https://phw.nhs.wales/services-and-teams/welsh-cancer-intelligence-and-surveillance-unit-wcisu/cancer-reporting-tool-official-statistics/ June 2022. 

  4.  Northern Ireland data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR) on request, October 2021. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, ICD-10 C45.

Last reviewed:

Mesothelioma 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 almost 6 in 10 new cases (56%) were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply in males and gradually in females from around age 50-54 and drop in the oldest age groups. 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 10 times lower in females than males.

Mesothelioma (C45), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

For mesothelioma, 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 C45.

Last reviewed:

Mesothelioma European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 57% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.[1-4] The increase was larger in females than in males.

For females, mesothelioma AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 93% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018. For males, mesothelioma AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 47% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), mesothelioma AS incidence rates for females and males combined decreased by 7%. In females AS incidence rates remained stable, and in males rates decreased by 9%.

Mesothelioma (C45), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993 to 2018

[1-4]

Mesothelioma incidence rates have varied between age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have remained stable, in 50-59s have decreased by 56%, in 60-69s have remained stable, in 70-79s have increased by 150% and in 80+s have increased by 388%.

Mesothelioma (C45), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Female Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

Mesothelioma incidence rates have varied between age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have decreased by 80%, in 50-59s have decreased by 77%, in 60-69s have decreased by 22%, in 70-79s have increased by 94% and in 80+s have increased by 247%.

Mesothelioma (C45), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Male Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

For mesothelioma, 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.

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, 1993-2018, ICD-10 C45.

Last reviewed:

The most common specific location for mesotheliomas in the UK is the pleura (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 C45. For some cases the specific location of the cancer is not recorded, this may be due to clinical or data recording factors.

Last reviewed:

The number of new mesothelioma cases on average each year in the UK is projected to fall from around 2,600 cases in 2023-2025 to around 2,400 cases in 2038-2040.[1]

Mesothelioma incidence rates are projected to fall by 27% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 3 cases per 100,000 people on average each year by 2038-2040.[1] This includes a similar decrease for males and females.

For females, mesothelioma European age standardised (AS) incidence rates Open a glossary item in the UK are projected to fall by 24% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 1 case per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1] For males, AS rates are projected to fall by 29% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 5 cases per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1]

Mesothelioma (C45), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1993-2040

Download the data table (xlsx)

References

Calculated by the Cancer Intelligence Team at Cancer Research UK, February 2023. Age-period-cohort modelling approach described here, using 2020-based population projections (Office for National Statistics) and observed cancer incidence (1975-2018 for England, Scotland and Wales, 1993-2018 for Northern Ireland).

About this data

Projections are based on incidence data from 1975-2018 (England, Scotland and Wales) and 1993-2018 (Northern Ireland); the above figure presents all UK data from 1993-2018 (observed) and 2019-2040 (projected). Number of new cases and age-standardised rates are presented as annual averages for each 3-year rolling period. ICD-10 codes C45.

Projections are based on observed incidence rates and therefore implicitly include changes in cancer risk factors and diagnosis. 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:

Mesothelioma incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) in England in females are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are similar in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).[1]

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 C45.

Last reviewed:

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