Cancer preventability statistics

Estimate of preventable cancers in the UK

Here we provide the latest cancer statistics for the UK, as well as what proportion of cancer cases could be prevented through improved diet, physical activity and body weight.

Cancer Incidence

In the UK in 2012, 338,631 cases of cancer were diagnosed.

Of these cancer cases, 171,958 were in men, and 166,673 were in women.

Cancer mortality

In the UK in 2012, there were 161,379 cancer deaths.

Of these deaths, 84,775 were men and 76,604 were women.

Preventable cancers

Overall, scientists estimate that about a third (32%) of 13 of the most common cancers in the UK could be prevented through improved diet, physical activity and body weight. The table below includes preventability estimates by type of cancer.

These estimates only include diet, physical activity and weight, and not other important risk factors such as smoking and sun damage.

Type of cancer Estimated % preventable in UK through healthy changes Approximate number of UK cases per year that could be prevented

Bowel cancer preventability statistics

Bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK. In 2012, 43,043 cases of bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, were diagnosed.

47 20,200

Breast cancer preventability statistics

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK. In 2012, 50,748 women were diagnosed with breast cancer.

38 19,300

Gallbladder cancer preventability statistics

In the UK in 2012, 1,726 cases of cancer of the gallbladder were diagnosed.

16 280

Kidney cancer preventability statistics

Kidney cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the UK. In 2012, 10,172 cases of kidney cancer were diagnosed.

19 1,900

Liver cancer preventability statistics

In the UK in 2012, 4,703 cases of liver cancer were diagnosed. Of these cancer cases, 3,018 were in men and 1,685 were in women

17 800

Lung cancer preventability statistics

Lung cancer is the second most common cancer in the UK. In 2012, 44,486 cases of lung cancer were diagnosed.

33 14,700

Mouth, pharynx and larynx cancer preventability statistics

Mouth and throat cancer (also known as mouth, pharynx and larynx cancer) is the eighth most common cancer in the UK.

67 6,900

Oesophagus cancer preventability statistics

In the UK in 2012, 8,756 cases of oesophageal cancer were diagnosed.

71 6,200

Ovarian cancer preventability statistics

Ovarian cancer is the sixth most common cancer in women in the UK. In 2012, 6,819 women were diagnosed with cancer of the ovaries.

4 270

Pancreatic cancer preventability statistics

Pancreatic cancer is the tenth most common cancer in the UK. In 2012, 8,872 cases of pancreatic cancer were diagnosed.

15 1,300

Prostate cancer (advanced) preventability statistics

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK. In 2012, 43,436 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Of these, about 20% were advanced prostate cancer.

10 870

Stomach cancer preventability statistics

In the UK in 2012, 6,985 cases of stomach cancer were diagnosed.

45 3,100

Womb cancer preventability statistics

Womb cancer (also known as endometrial or uterine cancer) is the fourth most common cancer in women in the UK.

44 3,800