Cancer incidence and mortality projections in the UK until 2035

Br J Cancer. 2016 Oct 25;115(9):1147-1155. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2016.304. Epub 2016 Oct 11.


Background: Cancer incidence and mortality projections are important for understanding the evolving landscape for cancer risk factors as well as anticipating future burden on the health service.

Methods: We used an age-period-cohort model with natural cubic splines to estimate cancer cases and deaths from 2015 to 2035 based on 1979-2014 UK data. This was converted to rates using ONS population projections. Modified data sets were generated for breast and prostate cancers.

Results: Cancer incidence rates are projected to decrease by 0.03% in males and increase by 0.11% in females yearly between 2015 and 2035; thyroid, liver, oral and kidney cancer are among the fastest accelerating cancers. 243 690 female and 270 261 male cancer cases are projected for 2035. Breast and prostate cancers are projected to be the most common cancers among females and males, respectively in 2035. Most cancers' mortality rate is decreasing; there are notable increases for liver, oral and anal cancer. For 2035, there are 95 961 female deaths projected and 116 585 male deaths projected.

Conclusions: These findings stress the need to continue efforts to address cancer risk factors. Furthermore, the increased burden of the number of cancer cases and deaths as a result of the growing and ageing population should be taken into consideration by healthcare planners.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality / trends*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult