Documents to download

This briefing gives an overview of cancer statistics for England. Please download the PDF report above for full information and charts.

New cancer cases

In 2019 there were 327,174 new cases of cancer diagnosed in England. Incidence rates rose between 1995 and 2013 but have fallen slightly since then. Incidence is 23% higher in men than in women.

Line chart showing age-standardised cancer incidence in England since 1995. Incidence remained higher among women than men throughout this period, but the gap has closed slightly.

Source: NHS Digital, Cancer Registration Statistics, 2019

Over half of people newly diagnosed with cancer are aged 70+. Among people aged 25-54, incidence rates are higher in women than in men. Among people aged 65+, incidence rates are around 50% higher in men than in women.

Bar chart showing age-specific cancer incidence rates in England in 2019.

Source: NHS Digital, Cancer Registration Statistics, 2019

Over half of cancers fall into four types: prostate, breast, lung, and colorectal.

Table showing the most common cancers by gender in England in 2019. Among men, prostate, lung and colorectal cancers make up over half of all cancers diagnosed. Among women, breast, lung and colorectal cancers make up over half of all cancer diagnosed.

Source: NHS Digital, Cancer Registration Statistics, 2019


In 2020 in England, 137,234 people died from cancer in England. The number of deaths has increased by 8% since 2001. But after accounting for the fact that England’s population is both growing and ageing, the rate of cancer deaths has fallen.

The charts below show trends for lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer death rates.

Four line charts showing trends in death rates from selected cancers by gender. Lung cancer death rates have halved among men but remained stable among women. Prostate, colorectal and breast cancer death rates have fallen slowly but consistently.

Source: ONS NOMIS, Mortality statistics


Cancer survival varies between types of cancer. One-year survival is above 95% for breast, prostate and skin cancer, but below 50% for stomach, oesophageal, lung, liver, and pancreatic cancer. Five-year survival is above 85% for breast, prostate and skin cancers, but below 20% for oesophageal, lung, liver and pancreatic cancers.

Chart showing one-year and five-year survival rates for selected cancer sites.

Source: Public Health England, Cancer survival in England for patients diagnosed between 2014 and 2018, and followed up to 2019

Other statistics and sources

Many other cancer statistics are available. This briefing provides only an overview. Selected links to other statistics and sources are given below.

Cancer Screening

Devolved Nations

Data for Scotland can be found on the Public Health Scotland site.

Data for Wales can be found on the Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit site.

Data for Northern Ireland can be found on the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry site.

Other sources

Both the NHS CancerData site and the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service site collate a wide range of statistics and sources.

Documents to download

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