Young people's cancers incidence statistics

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Cases

New cases of young peoples' cancers each year, 2016-2018 average, UK

 

Proportion of all cases

Percentage young peoples' cancers is of total cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

 

Age

Peak rate of young people's cancer cases, 2016-2018, UK

Trend over time

Change in young peoples' cancers incidence rates since the early 1990s, UK

 

Cancer in young people accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer cases in the UK (2016-2018).[1-4]

52% of young people's cancer cases in the UK are in females, and 48% are in males.

Young people's cancer incidence rates (European age-standardised (AS) rate Open a glossary item) are similar to the UK average in all the UK constituent countries.

Young People's Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), Average Number of New Cases Per Year, Crude and European Age-Standardised (AS) Incidence Rates per 100,000 Population, Ages 15-24, UK, 2016-2018

  England Scotland Wales Northern Ireland UK
Female Cases 1,035 99 58 41 1,232
Crude Rate 31.9 30.8 31.3 36.0 31.9
AS Rate 31.8 30.3 31.1 36.2 31.7
AS Rate - 95% LCI 30.6 26.9 26.5 29.8 30.7
AS Rate - 95% UCI 32.9 33.8 35.8 42.6 32.8
Male Cases 972 90 46 34 1,141
Crude Rate 28.4 27.3 22.7 28.3 28.0
AS Rate 28.3 27.0 22.7 28.6 27.9
AS Rate - 95% LCI 27.3 23.8 18.9 23.1 27.0
AS Rate - 95% UCI 29.3 30.3 26.5 34.2 28.9
Persons Cases 2,007 188 104 75 2,374
Crude Rate 30.1 29.1 26.8 32.0 29.9
AS Rate 30.0 28.7 26.7 32.3 29.8
AS Rate - 95% LCI 29.2 26.3 23.8 28.1 29.1
AS Rate - 95% UCI 30.7 31.0 29.7 36.5 30.5

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

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 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

All young peoples cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

Last reviewed:

The highest incidence rates for all young people's cancers combined are in those aged 20-24 for both sexes, with around two-thirds (65%) of all cases in young people being diagnosed in this age group (UK, 2016-2018).[1-4] This pattern varies greatly by cancer type.[5]

Young people’s cancers usually have no known cause. For most cancer types incidence increases with age, which largely reflects cell DNA damage accumulating over time. Damage can result from biological processes or from exposure to risk factors.

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/.
  5. Public Health England. Children, teenagers and young adults UK cancer statistics report 2021. Available from http://ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/cancer_type_specific_work/cancer_in_children_teenagers_and_young_adults/, accessed March 2021.

About this data

Data is for UK, 2016-2018, ICD-10 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

Last reviewed:

World age-standardised (AS) Open a glossary item incidence rates for cancers in children (girls and boys combined) increased by 12% in the UK between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.[1-4] The increase was of a similar size in girls and boys.

For cancers in girls, AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 15% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018. For cancers in boys, AS incidence rates in the UK increased by 10% between 1993-1995 and 2016-2018.

Over the last decade in the UK (between 2006-2008 and 2016-2018), AS incidence rates for cancers in children (girls and boys combined) remained stable. In girls AS incidence rates remained stable, and in boys rates remained stable.[1-4]

Children's Cancers (C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5), European Age-Standardised Incidence Rates, Ages 0-14, UK, 1993 to 2018

All children’s cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97) and all non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

These trends include non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours because they account for a relatively high proportion of cases in this age group. However trends for these tumours are unreliable pre-2000s, and largely reflect improved data collection rather than true increased incidence. Percentage increases since the late 1970s and early 1990s are very slightly smaller if these tumours are excluded.

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 C00-C97, D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43, D44.3-D44.5.

All children's cancers includes all malignant tumours (ICD-10 codes: C00-C97), and all non-malignant brain, other central nervous system and intracranial tumours (ICD-10 codes: D32-D33, D35.2-D35.4, D42-D43 and D44.3-D44.5).

Last reviewed:

Young people’s cancers are classified into 12 broad diagnostic groups (each of which can be further subdivided) according to the International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition (ICCC-3).[1] There are UK statistics for 88 distinct diagnostic subgroups of young people’s cancers.[2]

The most common groups of young people’s cancers in the UK are Other malignant epithelial neoplasms and malignant melanomas (30% of cases), Lymphomas and reticuloendothelial neoplasms (20% of cases), and Germ cell tumours, trophoblastic tumours, and neoplasms of gonads (16% of cases) (1997-2016).[2]

 

References

  1. International Classification of Childhood Cancer, third edition(link is external). Cancer 2005;103:1457-67.
  2. Public Health England. Children, teenagers and young adults UK cancer statistics report 2021. Available from http://ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/cancer_type_specific_work/cancer_in_children_teenagers_and_young_adults/, accessed March 2021.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1997-2016, International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition (ICCC-3)

Last reviewed:

Nearly 33,800 people who had been diagnosed with cancer at age 15-24 in the UK between 1997 and 2016, were still alive at the end of 2018.[1]

References 

  1. Public Health England. Children, teenagers and young adults UK cancer statistics report 2021. Available from http://ncin.org.uk/cancer_type_and_topic_specific_work/cancer_type_specific_work/cancer_in_children_teenagers_and_young_adults/, accessed March 2021.

About this data

Data is for UK, 1997-2016, International Classification of Childhood Cancer, Third Edition (ICCC-3)  

Last reviewed:

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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.