Thyroid cancer statistics

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Cases

New cases of thyroid cancer, 2015-2017, UK

Deaths

Deaths from thyroid cancer, 2016, UK

Survival

Survive thyroid cancer for 10 or more years, 2013-2017, England

 

Preventable cases

Thyroid cancer cases are preventable, UK, 2015

 

  • There are around 3,700 new thyroid cancer cases in the UK every year, that's 10 every day (2015-2017).
  • Thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 1% of all new cancer cases (2017).
  • In females in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 17th most common cancer, with around 2,800 new cases in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer, with around 1,100 new cases in 2017.
  • Incidence rates for thyroid cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 65 to 69 (2015-2017).
  • Each year around a tenth (11%) of all new thyroid cancer cases in the UK are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1990s, thyroid cancer incidence rates have increased by more than two-and-a-half times (164%) in the UK. Rates in females have increased by more than two-and-a-half times (173%), and rates in males have increased by around two-and-a-half times (160%) (2015-2017).
  • Over the last decade, thyroid cancer incidence rates have increased by more than two-thirds (68%) in the UK. Rates in males have increased by more than two-thirds (68%), and rates in females have increased by around seven-tenths (69%) (2015-2017).
  • Incidence rates for thyroid cancer are projected to rise by 74% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 11 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Thyroid cancer incidence rates 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).
  • An estimated 22,900 people who had previously been diagnosed with thyroid cancer were alive in the UK at the end of 2010.

See more in-depth thyroid cancer incidence statistics

  • There are around 400 thyroid cancer deaths in the UK every year, that's around 1 every day (2015-2017).
  • Thyroid cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death in the UK, accounting for less than 1% of all cancer deaths (2017).
  • In females in the UK, thyroid cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death, with around 220 deaths in 2017.
  • In males in the UK, thyroid cancer is not among the 20 most common causes of cancer death, with around 180 deaths in 2017.
  • Mortality rates for thyroid cancer in the UK are highest in people aged 90+ (2015-2017).
  • Since the early 1970s, thyroid cancer mortality rates have decreased by almost half (47%) in the UK. Rates in females have decreased by more than half (53%), and rates in males have decreased by a quarter (25%).
  • Over the last decade, thyroid cancer mortality rates have remained stable in the UK. Rates in females have remained stable, and rates in males have remained stable.
  • Mortality rates for thyroid cancer are projected to rise by 7% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 1 death per 100,000 people by 2035.
  • Thyroid cancer in England is not associated with deprivation.

See more in-depth thyroid cancer mortality statistics

  • Around 9 in 10 (91.4%) of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England survive their disease for one year or more (2013-2017).
  • Almost 9 in 10 (87.4%) of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England survive their disease for five years or more (2013-2017).
  • It is predicted that more than 8 in 10 (84.3%) of people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in England survive their disease for ten years or more (2013-2017).
  • Thyroid cancer survival for females is higher than for males at one- and five-years.
  • Thyroid cancer survival in England is highest for adults diagnosed aged under 50 years old (2009-2013).
  • Nearly all people in England diagnosed with thyroid cancer aged 15-49 survive their disease for five years or more, compared with almost half of people diagnosed aged 80-99 (2009-2013).
  • When diagnosed at its earliest stage, all (100%) people with thyroid cancer will survive their disease for one year or more, compared with more than 3 in 4 (77%) people when the disease is diagnosed at the latest stage.
  • Five-year relative survival for thyroid cancer in men is below the European average in England but similar to the European average in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Five-year relative survival for thyroid cancer in women is below the European average in England and Wales but similar to the European average in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • A person’s risk of developing cancer depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
  • 1 in 332 UK males and 1 in 170 UK females will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in their lifetime.
  • 9% of thyroid cancer cases in the UK are preventable.

See more in-depth thyroid cancer risk statistics

  • 'Two-week wait' standards are met by all countries, '31-day wait' is met by all but Wales, and ‘62-day wait’ is not met by any country for head and neck cancers.

Se more in-depth thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment statistics

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.