Pancreatic cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of pancreatic cancer, 2016-2018, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

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

 

Age

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

Trend over time

Change in pancreatic cancer incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

 

Pancreatic cancer is the 10th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 3% of all new cancer cases (2017-2019).[1-4]

In females in the UK, pancreatic cancer is the 9th most common cancer (3% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, it is the 12th most common cancer (3% of all new male cancer cases).

49% of pancreatic cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 51% are in males.

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

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

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), 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 4,421 421 269 123 5,235
Crude Rate 15.6 15.1 16.9 12.9 15.6
AS Rate 15.4 14.3 15.0 13.9 15.3
AS Rate - 95% LCL 15.2 13.5 14.0 12.5 15.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 15.7 15.1 16.1 15.3 15.5
Male Cases 4,704 435 269 144 5,552
Crude Rate 17.0 16.4 17.4 15.5 16.9
AS Rate 19.6 18.3 17.9 19.7 19.4
AS Rate - 95% LCL 19.3 17.3 16.7 17.8 19.1
AS Rate - 95% UCL 19.9 19.3 19.2 21.6 19.7
Persons Cases 9,125 856 538 267 10,786
Crude Rate 16.3 15.7 17.2 14.2 16.2
AS Rate 17.3 16.1 16.4 16.5 17.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 17.1 15.4 15.6 15.4 17.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 17.5 16.7 17.2 17.6 17.4

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.  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/

  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. 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

About this data

Data is for UK, 2017-2019, ICD-10 C25.

Last reviewed:

Pancreatic 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 almost half of new cases (47%) were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4]

Age-specific incidence rates rise steadily from around age 35-39, and more steeply from around age 60-64. The highest rates are in in the 85 to 89 age group for females and the 90+ 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 45 to 49, when the age-specific incidence rate is 1.5 times lower in females than males.

Pancreatic cancer (C25), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016-2018

For pancreatic 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 C25.

Last reviewed:

Pancreatic cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 17% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.[1-4] The increase was of a similar size in females and males.

For females, pancreatic cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 17% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018. For males, pancreatic cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 14% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), pancreatic cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 9%. In females AS incidence rates increased by 7%, and in males rates increased by 11%.

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993 to 2018

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates have increased overall in all broad age groups in females in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have increased by 208%, in 25-49s have increased by 34%, in 50-59s have increased by 17%, in 60-69s have increased by 11%, in 70-79s have increased by 20% and in 80+s have increased by 17%.

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Female Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

Pancreatic cancer 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 remained stable, in 50-59s have remained stable, in 60-69s have increased by 13%, in 70-79s have increased by 17% and in 80+s have increased by 14%.

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates per 100,000 Male Population, By Age, UK, 1993-2018

For pancreatic 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, 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 C25.

Last reviewed:

The most common specific location for pancreatic cancers in the UK is the head of the pancreas (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 C25. For some cases the specific location of the cancer is not recorded, this may be due to clinical or data recording factors.

Last reviewed:

Overall diagnosis by stage

A moderate proportion (69-79%) of pancreatic cancer cases in England and Scotland have stage at diagnosis recorded.[1,2]

Pancreatic cancer patients with a known stage are most commonly diagnosed at stage IV (68-69%). More patients with a known stage are diagnosed at a late stage (79% are diagnosed at stage III or IV), than an early stage (21% are diagnosed at stage I or II).[1,2]

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.

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), Proportion of Cases Diagnosed at Each Stage, All Ages, England and Scotland, 2014

Data should not be compared between countries due to 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.

About this data

Data is for: England and Scotland, 2014, ICD-10 C25

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 number of new pancreatic cancer cases on average each year in the UK is projected to rise from around 12,500 cases in 2023-2025 to around 16,000 cases in 2038-2040.[1]

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 5% in the UK between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 19 cases per 100,000 people on average each year by 2038-2040.[1] This includes a similar increase for males and females.

For females, pancreatic cancer European age standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 4% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 17 cases per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1] For males, AS rates are projected to rise by 5% between 2023-2025 and 2038-2040, to 21 cases per 100,000 per year by 2038-2040.[1]

Pancreatic cancer (C25), 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 C25.

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:

Pancreatic cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rates Open a glossary item) in England in females are 19% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least, and in males are 20% higher in the most deprived quintile compared with the least (2013-2017).[1]

It is estimated that there are around 540 more cases of pancreatic 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 220 of these cases are in females, and around 320 in males.

Pancreatic Cancer (C25), 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 C25.

Last reviewed:

An estimated 6,600 people who had been diagnosed with pancreatic 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 C25

Last reviewed:

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