Oesophageal cancer incidence statistics

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Cases

New cases of oesophageal cancer, 2015-2017, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

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

 

Age

Peak rate of oesophageal cancer cases, 2015-2017, UK

Trend over time

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

 

Oesophageal cancer is the 14th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases (2017).[1-4]

In females in the UK, oesophageal cancer is the 15th most common cancer (2% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, it is the 9th most common cancer (3% of all new male cancer cases).

30% of oesophageal cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 70% are in males.

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) for persons are significantly higher than the UK average in Scotland, and similar to the UK average in all other UK constituent countries.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), 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 2,289 319 151 51 2,810
Crude Rate 8.1 11.5 9.5 5.4 8.4
AS Rate 8.1 10.9 8.5 5.7 8.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 7.8 9.7 7.2 4.2 8.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 8.4 12.1 9.9 7.3 8.6
Male Cases 5,280 654 301 175 6,410
Crude Rate 19.2 24.8 19.5 19.0 19.7
AS Rate 22.2 27.6 20.2 23.1 22.6
AS Rate - 95% LCL 21.6 25.5 17.9 19.7 22.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 22.8 29.7 22.5 26.5 23.1
Persons Cases 7,569 973 452 226 9,220
Crude Rate 13.6 17.9 14.5 12.1 14.0
AS Rate 14.7 18.5 14.0 13.9 14.9
AS Rate - 95% LCL 14.3 17.3 12.7 12.1 14.6
AS Rate - 95% UCL 15.0 19.7 15.3 15.7 15.2

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 oesophageal 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 C15.

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal 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 around 4 in 10 (41%) new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steeply from around age 45-49. The highest rates are in the 90+ age group for females and males.

Incidence rates are significantly lower in females than males in a number of (mainly older) age groups.The gap is widest at age 25 to 29, when the age-specific incidence rate is 16 times lower in females than males.

Oesophageal cancer (C15), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2015-2017

For oesophageal 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, C15.

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal cancer European age-standardised (AS) incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 5% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017.[1-4] The change varied markedly between sexes.

For females, oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates in the UK decreased by 13% between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017. For males, oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 11% between 1993-1995 and 2015-2017.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2005-2007 and 2015-2017), oesophageal cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined remained stable.[1-4] In females AS incidence rates decreased by 9%, and in males rates remained stable.

Oesophageal Cancer (ICD-10 C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2017

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates have remained stable overall in some broad age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s, but have decreased in others.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have remained stable, in 50-59s have remained stable, in 60-69s have remained stable, in 70-79s have decreased by 17%, and in 80+s have decreased by 16%.

Oesophageal Cancer (ICD-10 C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2017

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates have varied between age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s, but have remained stable in others.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have remained stable, in 25-49s have remained stable, in 50-59s have increased by 12%, in 60-69s have increased by 17%, in 70-79s have increased by 14%, and in 80+s have remained stable.

Oesophageal Cancer (ICD-10 C15), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1993-2017

For oesophageal 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.

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, 1993-2017, ICD-10 C15.

Last reviewed:

Overall diagnosis by stage

A moderate to high proportion (65-81%) of oesophageal cancer cases in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland have a stage at diagnosis recorded.[1-3]

Oesophageal cancer patients with a known stage are most commonly diagnosed at stage IV in Northern Ireland (42%). More patients with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (70-80% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (21-30% are diagnosed at stage I or II). Between 37% and 42% of patients have metastases at diagnosis (stage IV).[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.

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England 2014, Scotland 2014 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.

References

  1. National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Stage Breakdown by CCG 2014. London: NCRAS; 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.

About this data

Data is for: England 2014, Scotland 2014, Northern Ireland 2010-2014, ICD-10 C15

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

Last reviewed:

The largest proportion of oesophageal cancer cases occur in the lower third of the oesophagus, with much smaller proportions in the middle and upper thirds (2010-2012).[1-4]

The proportion of cases in the lower third is higher in males (49.0%) than females (33.7%), whereas in the middle third there is a higher proportion in females (20.8%) than in males (10.7%). There are no marked sex differences in other parts of the oesophagus.[1-4]

A large proportion of cases did not have the specific part of the oesophagus recorded in cancer registry data, or overlapped more than one part.[1-4]

References

  1. Data were provided by the Office for National Statistics on request, July 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/vsob1/cancer-statistics-registrations--england--series-mb1-/index.html.
  2. Data were provided by ISD Scotland on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.isdscotland.org/Health-Topics/Cancer/Publications/index.asp.
  3. Data were provided by the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit on request, April 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=242&pid=59080.
  4. Data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry on request, June 2014. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerInformation/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2010-2012, ICD-10 C15.

Last reviewed:

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates are projected to fall by 3% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 18 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes an increase for females and a drop for males.

For males, oesophageal cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to fall by 6% between 2014 and 2035, to 25 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 1% between 2014 and 2035, to 11 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Oesophageal cancer (C15), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

 

It is projected that 12,657 cases of oesophageal cancer (8,366 in males, 4,292 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 C15

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:

Oesophageal cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) in England in females are 43% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are 50% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).[1]

It is estimated that there are around 1,200 more cases of oesophageal 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 320 of these cases are in females, and around 890 in males.

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

Oesophageal Cancer (C15), 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 C15.

 

Last reviewed:

Age-standardised rates Open a glossary item for White males with oesophageal cancer range from 13.9 to 14.4 per 100,000. Rates for Asian males are significantly lower, ranging from 3.6 to 6.1 per 100,000 and the rates for Black males are also significantly lower, ranging from 6.0 to 10.2 per 100,000. For females there is a similar pattern - the age-standardised rates for White females range from 5.5 to 5.7 per 100,000, and rates for Asian and Black females are also significantly lower, ranging from 2.5 to 4.5 per 100,000 and 2.1 to 4.5 per 100,000 respectively.[1]

Ranges are given because of the analysis methodology used to account for missing and unknown data. For oesophageal cancer, 31,517 cases were identified; 16% 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, 2012, ICD-10 C15

Last reviewed:

An estimated 15,600 people who had been diagnosed with oesophageal cancer between 1991 and 2010 were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.[1]

References

  1. Macmillan Cancer Support and National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service. Cancer Prevalence UK Data Tables. London: NCRAS; 2015.

About this data

Data is for: Great Britain (1991-2010) and Northern Ireland (1993-2010), ICD-10 C77-C80

Last reviewed:

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