UK cancer statistics
Latest cancer rates, including incidence, mortality and preventability, for the UK
Here we provide the latest cancer statistics for the UK, as well as what proportion of cancer cases could be prevented.
In the UK, 366,303 cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2017, the latest year for which data is available. Of these cancer cases, 186,883 were in men, and 179,420 were in women1. 1 in 2 people in the UK will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime2.
Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer among women in the UK, with 54,724 new cases in 20171. Breast cancer is rare in men, with around 400 new cases diagnosed each year in the UK.
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men in the UK. In 2017, 48,561 cases of prostate cancer were diagnosed1 – more than a quarter of all new cases of cancer in men in the UK.
Lung cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the UK across men and women, with 47,941 new cases in 20171 – totalling 13% of all new cases (men and women combined).
Also known as colorectal cancer, bowel cancer is the cancer type with the fourth highest number of new cases in the UK. In 2017, there were 43,438 new cases1 (men and women combined), accounting for 12% of the total number of new cases.
In fact, the top 4 cancer types accounted for more than half (53%) the total number of new cases in 2017.
In the UK in 2017, there were 165,2671 cancer deaths. Of these deaths, 88,027 were men and 77,240 were women.
How to prevent cancer
Cancer is the cause of death for a large number of people each year – for a portion of those people, the cancer was preventable. Overall, scientists estimate that around 40% of cancer cases could be prevented. That's around 147,000 cases every year in the UK.
There are a range of different risk factors that can influence your chances of developing cancer. However, there are steps that can be taken to help people safe from the disease, or to protect yourself from recurrence.
Eating a healthy diet, being more active each day and maintaining a healthy weight are important ways you can reduce your cancer risk.