Thyroid cancer incidence statistics

Cases

New cases of thyroid cancer, 2014-2016 average, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage thyroid cancer is of total cancer cases, 2014-2016 average, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of thyroid cancer cases, 2014-2016, UK

Trend over time

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

 

Thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer in the UK, accounting for 1% of all new cancer cases (2016).[1-4]

In females in the UK it is the 17th most common cancer (1% of all new female cancer cases). In males in the UK, thyroid cancer is the 20th most common cancer (less than 1% of all new male cancer cases).

73% of thyroid cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 27% are in males.

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

Thyroid Cancer (C73), Number of New Cases, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2016

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 2,279 194 87 74 2,634
Crude Rate 8.1 7.0 5.5 7.8 7.9
AS Rate 8.4 7.0 5.6 8.0 8.1
AS Rate - 95% LCL 8.0 6.0 4.4 6.2 7.8
AS Rate - 95% UCL 8.7 8.0 6.7 9.8 8.4
Male Cases 826 88 32 27 973
Crude Rate 3.0 3.3 2.1 3.0 3.0
AS Rate 3.2 3.4 2.2 3.1 3.2
AS Rate - 95% LCL 3.0 2.7 1.4 2.0 3.0
AS Rate - 95% UCL 3.5 4.2 2.9 4.3 3.4
Persons Cases 3,105 282 119 101 3,607
Crude Rate 5.6 5.2 3.8 5.4 5.5
AS Rate 5.8 5.3 3.9 5.7 5.7
AS Rate - 95% LCL 5.6 4.7 3.2 4.6 5.5
AS Rate - 95% UCL 6.0 5.9 4.6 6.8 5.9

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 thyroid cancer, there are few established risk factors therefore differences between countries largely reflect differences in diagnosis and data recording.

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, August 2018. 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 2018. 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, February 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, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016, ICD-10 C73.

Last reviewed:

Thyroid cancer incidence is strongly related to age, with the highest incidence rates being in the 65 to 69 age group. In the UK in 2014-2016, on average each year around a tenth (11%) of new cases were in people aged 75 and over.[1-4] Thyroid cancer incidence rates in females are highest overall in younger and middle-aged women – a different pattern to male thyroid cancer, and to most cancers.

Age-specific incidence rates in males rise gradually from around age 10-14, before dropping in the oldest age groups. Rates in females rise sharply from around age 10-14, reaching a peak at ages 35-39, then decline steadily, then drop sharply from age 80-84. The highest rates are in the 50 to 54 age group for females and the 85 to 89 age group for males.

Incidence rates are significantly higher in females than males in a number of (mainly older) age groups. The gap is widest at age 20 to 24, when the age-specific incidence rate is 5 times higher in females than males.

Thyroid Cancer (C73), Average Number of New Cases per Year and Age-Specific Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, UK, 2014-2016

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 thyroid 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, August 2018. 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 2018. 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, February 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, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2014-2016, ICD-10 C73.

Last reviewed:

Thyroid cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 155% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016.[1-4] The increase was of a similar size in females and males.

For females, thyroid cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 163% between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016. For males, thyroid cancer AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 152% between 1993-1995 and 2014-2016.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2004-2006 and 2014-2016), thyroid cancer AS incidence rates for females and males combined increased by 75%.[1-4] In females AS incidence rates increased by 76%, and in males rates increased by 75%.

Thyroid Cancer (ICD-10 C73), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, UK, 1993-2016

Thyroid 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 126%, in 25-49s have increased by 209%, in 50-59s have increased by 239%, in 60-69s have increased by 170%, in 70-79s have increased by 80%, and in 80+s have increased by 30%.

Thyroid Cancer (ICD-10 C73), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Females, UK, 1993-2016

Thyroid cancer incidence rates have increased overall in all broad age groups in males in the UK since the early 1990s.[1-4] Rates in 0-24s have increased by 180%, in 25-49s have increased by 213%, in 50-59s have increased by 215%, in 60-69s have increased by 125%, in 70-79s have increased by 94%, and in 80+s have increased by 92%.

Thyroid Cancer (ICD-10 C73), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, By Age, Males, UK, 1993-2016

Thyroid cancer incidence trends probably reflect incidental detection of asymptomatic disease through increasing use of medical imaging techniques. Changing prevalence of risk factors, with recent incidence trends influenced by risk factor prevalence in years past, probably also plays some part.

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, August 2018. 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 2018. 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, February 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, April 2018. Similar data can be found here: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1993-2016, ICD-10 C73.

Last reviewed:

Thyroid cancer incidence rates are projected to rise by 74% in the UK between 2014 and 2035, to 11 cases per 100,000 people by 2035.[1] This includes a larger increase for males than for females.

For males, thyroid cancer European age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates in the UK are projected to rise by 77% between 2014 and 2035, to 7 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1] For females, rates are projected to rise by 74% between 2014 and 2035, to 16 cases per 100,000 by 2035.[1]

Thyroid cancer (C73), Observed and Projected Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, by Sex, UK, 1979-2035

It is projected that 6,839 cases of thyroid cancer (2,089 in males, 4,750 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 C73

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 no evidence for an association between thyroid cancer incidence and deprivation for either males or females in England.[1] England-wide data for 2006-2010 show European age-standardised Open a glossary item incidence rates are similar for both males and females living in the most deprived areas compared with the least deprived.[1]

Thyroid Cancer (C73), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates by Deprivation Quintile, England, 2006-2010

The estimated deprivation gradient in thyroid cancer incidence between people living in the most and least deprived areas in England has not changed in the period 1996-2010.[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, 2006-2010, ICD-10 C73

Deprivation gradient statistics were calculated using incidence data for 2006-2010. 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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