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Average of 896 new malignant cancers diagnosed a day

Diagnoses of new malignant cancers1 in England increased from 323,450 in 2018 to 327,174 in 2019, new figures from NHS Digital show.

For the first time, deprivation breakdowns have also been included in the report2.  This shows that for most cancers diagnosed, the rate of cancer was highest in the most deprived areas and lowest in the least deprived (rate of cancer increases with deprivation).

However, for breast cancers the reverse is true, where the rate of breast cancer in females was 14% higher in the fifth of the population living in the least deprived areas (179 per 100,000 people), when compared to the fifth in the most deprived (157 per 100,000 people).  This trend was also mirrored by prostate and non-melanoma skin cancers, as well as malignant melanomas.

The Cancer Registrations, England 2019 publication provides information on cancers that were newly diagnosed3 in the 2019 calendar year in England.  Breakdowns are available by geography, sex, age bands, deprivation and diagnosis stage.

The report also shows that in 2019:

The four most common cancers registered (prostate, breast, colorectal and lung) accounted for over half of all diagnoses (53%).


Men received more diagnoses than women, with 169,599 cancers diagnosed in males in comparison to 157,575 in females

Cancer incidence for both sexes increased with deprivation4. Males in the least deprived areas had a higher rate of cancer incidence than females in the most deprived areas (649 per 100,000 for males and 621 per 100,000 for females).

Prostate cancer continued to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in males (28% of all male diagnoses).

Breast cancer continued to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer in females (28% of all female diagnoses).


Cancer incidence rates increased with age for both males and females. However, females had higher incidence rates than males between the ages of 15 and 59 years, while males had higher incidence rates when aged 60 and above.  See graph:


The North East had the highest age-standardised5 cancer incidence rate for males (717 per 100,000 people) and females (603 per 100,000 people).

The East had the lowest age-standardised cancer incidence rate for males (663 per 100,000 people) and London had the lowest rate for females (524 per 100,000).

Read the full report

Cancer Registrations, England 2019

Notes for Editors

  1. Excludes non-melanoma skin cancers.
  2. The report measures cancer incidence by Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD).  IMD is the official measure of relative deprivation for small areas in England. The IMD was grouped into quintiles, which were weighted so that the quintiles were equal in terms of the number of Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs).
  3. The data cover primary neoplasms only, secondary tumours are not included.
  4. This is for age-standardised rate of cancer incidence.  The age structure of populations can change over time or between geographies. To let users make unbiased comparisons, these changes need to be controlled. (Direct) age-standardisation achieves this control.  Each age- and sex-specific rate are multiplied by a 'standard' population. These are then summed to give a standardised rate. The standard population used in these tables is the European Standard Population 2013.  For more information on the methodology, please see the ‘Methods for rates’ tab in the Incidence workbook.
  5. See footnote 4.
  6. This data comes from the National Cancer Registration and Analysis Service (NCRAS), the most comprehensive cancer dataset in the world.  It collects information on all cases of cancer in England to support improvements in prevention, cancer care and clinical outcomes, while reducing inequalities.


Channel website: https://digital.nhs.uk

Original article link: https://digital.nhs.uk/news/2021/average-of-896-new-malignant-cancers-diagnosed-a-day

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