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Publication, Part of

Cancer Registration Statistics, England 2019

National statistics

National Statistics
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Cancer diagnoses continue to increase

In 2019, there was a continued increase in the number of malignant cancer diagnoses in England, from 323,450 new cases in 2018 to 327,174 new cancer diagnoses in 2019, excluding non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC).

Unless otherwise stated, the numbers and rates presented in this bulletin for “all cancers” refer to malignant cancers, excluding NMSC (see Data Quality and Methodology for more detail).

As in previous years, more cancers were diagnosed in males (169,599) than females (157,575).

The majority (94%) of all new registrations were comprised of 24 different cancers. Just over half (53%) of all registrations were breast, prostate, lung or colon and rectum cancer.

Figure 1 shows the number of cases diagnosed by the 24 common cancers split by sex. More detailed breakdowns by cancer site/group and age are available in the data tables.


Breast cancer was the most diagnosed cancer in 2019 (48387– males and females), with prostate cancer being second (47,479).

The difference between males and females in the number of all malignant cancers diagnosed decreased by 2,736 from 14,760 cases in 2018 to 12,024 cases in 2019.

Figure 2 shows the proportion of the 5 most common cancers for both males and females in 2019.


  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma for females and breast cancer for males are not in the 5 most common cancers by sex. As such they are included within all other cancers.
  • Prostate and uterus cancer are sex-specific, with prostate cancer only in males and uterus cancer in females.
  • All ages combined.

The 5 most commonly diagnosed cancers for males and females account for the majority of all cancers diagnosed for males (61%) and females (63%) (Figure 2).

For males, prostate cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer, accounting for 28% of all male cancer diagnoses. For females, breast cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer, accounting for 30% of all female cancer diagnoses.

Lung cancer, colon and rectum cancer, and melanoma of skin are common cancers for both males and females. The 5th most common cancers in females was cancer of the uterus, with 8,188 diagnoses.  The 5th most common cancers in males was non-Hodgkin lymphoma with 6,633 diagnoses.

Last edited: 14 January 2022 9:55 am