Rich pictures

To help us understand the 2.5 million people living with cancer (as of 2015), we have created a series of 20 rich pictures on the different groups within the population. Each rich picture summarises the numbers, needs and experiences of these different groups of people.

Cancer types

Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is the eighth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK with around 69,115 people living with it. 

In 2012, almost 10,702 people were diagnosed with bladder cancer, (29 people every day). 

Bladder cancer is more common in older people and males, with around 8 in 10 of all bladder cancer  cases diagnosed in people aged 65 and over and more than twice as many cases of bladder cancer in men compared with women. 

Download the rich picture on bladder cancer [PDF].

Bladder cancer patients have a significantly better chance of survival if they are referred to hospital within 14 days of the onset of symptoms.

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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in the UK. 691,000 people are living with breast cancer.

Around 140 people are diagnosed every day, but breast cancer has one of the highest 5-year survival rates of all cancers. 84% of women are alive five years after their diagnosis.

The lifetime risk of being diagnosed with breast cancer is 1 in 8 for women in the UK, and women with a relative who has had breast cancer are at double the risk of being diagnosed. 

Download the rich picture on people living with breast cancer [PDF].

5% of new breast cancer cases are due to an inherited gene.

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Cancer of the uterus

There are around 70,190 people living with cancer of the uterus in the UK, with 23 people diagnosed every day.

Cancer of the womb (uterus) is a common cancer that affects the female reproductive system. It is also called uterine cancer and endometrial cancer.

Uterine cancer incidence is linked to age, with the vast majority (93%) of uterine cancer cases diagnosed in women aged 50 years and over.

Download the rich picture on people living with cancer of the uterus [PDF]

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Cervical cancer

Around 34,850 women are living with cervical cancer and around 8 women are diagnosed every day.

The risk of cervical cancer is approximately double in women with a mother or sister who has been diagnosed with the disease.

The prognosis for cervical cancer is often good, with 84% of women living a year after their diagnosis, and two-thirds (67%) of women being alive five years after their diagnosis.

Download the rich picture on cervical cancer [PDF].

Although women living with cervical cancer can come from all parts of society, the majority tend to come from lower middle class or deprived areas and over 60% are under the age of 50.

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Colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the UK in terms of prevalence, and is also the second most common cause of cancer death in the UK. 

Around 290,000 people are currently living with colorectal cancer, with an average of 115 people diagnosed every day. 

Colorectal cancer incidence and mortality is linked to age, for example, between 2009 and 2011, 73% of colorectal cancer deaths were in people aged 65 years and over. 

Download the rich picture on people living with colorectal cancer [PDF].

Colorectal cancer can be successfully treated in over 90% of cases if diagnosed early.

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Head and neck cancer

Head and neck cancer is the eighth most commonly diagnosed type of cancer, with over 11,000 new cases being diagnosed every year.

62,530 people are currently living with head and neck cancer, yet incidence is considerably higher amongst males, with laryngeal cancer (one of the most common types) having a male: female ratio of 5:1. There are over 30 different places that cancer can develop in the head and neck.

Download the rich picture on head and neck cancer [PDF].

Head and neck cancer is much more common in men than in women. Oral cancer, the most common form of head and neck cancer, has a 2:1 male to female ratio.

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Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the UK's second most commonly diagnosed cancer, 72,000 people are living with lung cancer and over 40,000 are diagnosed each year in the UK.

Lung cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates of all cancers (9.7% of men and 12.5% of women are alive 5 years after their diagnosis) and is the biggest killer of all cancers, with over 35,000 people dying every year from lung cancer in the UK.

Download the rich picture on people living with lung cancer [PDF].

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of lung cancer include a persistent cough, changes in cough patterns, coughing up blood, and chest pains.

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Malignant melanoma

There are around 110,330 people living with malignant melanoma in the UK, with 13,500 people diagnosed every year, (around 37 people every day) making it the fifth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the UK.

The prognosis for malignant melanoma is often good, with 92% of women and 86% of men living for 5 years or more after their diagnosis.

Download the rich picture on people living with malignant melanoma [PDF].

Patient understanding and awareness of malignant melanoma is influenced by the media and personal, family and friends' experiences of melanoma.

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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is the most common blood cancer, and the sixth most commonly diagnosed cancer, with around 76,840 people living with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK. 

Patients are now twice as likely to survive their disease for at least 10 years compared to those diagnosed in the early 1970s, which shows that the survival rate is relatively good, with 62% of women and 69% of men living for a year after their non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. 

Download the rich picture on non Hodgkin lymphoma [PDF].

Around 7 in 10 of all non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases are diagnosed in people aged 60 and over.

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Prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, with 330,000 men living with prostate cancer in the UK. A quarter of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in men are prostate cancers, with 119 men diagnosed every day. 

Survival rates for prostate cancer have been improving over the last 30 years, and now, 80% of men live for more than five years after their prostate cancer diagnosis. 

Download the rich picture on people living with prostate cancer [PDF].

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Rarer cancers

269 people are diagnosed with a rarer cancer every day, with the result that there are around 444,000 people living with a rarer cancer diagnosis.

There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment. Although each individual form of cancer is rare, this group is significantly larger than any site-specific cancer, for example, around 67,000 people died from cancers that were not one of the top 10 most common cancers in 2011, around 184 people every day.

Download the rich picture on rarer cancers [PDF].

Living with the aftermath of cancer can be challenging for many rare cancer patients. For example, oesophageal cancer patients can have problems with reduced appetite, nausea and acid reflux.

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Age groups

Children with cancer

There were over 9,936 children (aged 0-14) living with cancer in the UK in 2010, based on data on patients diagnosed with cancer between 1991 and 2010. Less than 1% of new cancer diagnoses and cancer deaths in the UK are amongst children. Every day 4 children in the UK are diagnosed with cancer. Every week 5 children die of it. 89% of children will live 5 years after cancer diagnosis.

The most commonly diagnosed cancers in children are leukaemia, brain and central nervous system tumours and lymphomas.

Download the rich picture on children with cancer [PDF].

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Teenagers and young adults living with cancer

16,612 teenagers and young adults (TYA) in the UK are living up to 20 years after initial diagnosis with cancer, based on data on people diagnosed with cancer between 1991 and 2010.

Every year over 2,000 TYA receive a cancer diagnosis and almost 268 people in that age group die of it. More than half of cancer deaths in that group occur in hospital.

50% of TYA built up debt to make ends meet as a result of their cancer diagnosis. A third of 16-18 year-olds with cancer had to leave education altogether.

Download the rich picture on teenagers and young adults living with cancer [PDF].

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People of working age living with cancer

Older people with cancer

Groups and communities

Carers of people with cancer

There are an estimated 1.1 million people aged 15+ in the UK currently caring for someone with cancer, and half of them are missing out on the support available to them.

Over 62% of carers are female, and are most likely to be supporting a family member. This rich picture contains a range of evidence and insight including how many people are carers, and what their typical needs and experiences are.

Download the rich picture on carers of people with cancer [PDF].

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People at the end of life

569,000 people die every year in the UK. Of these, cancer is the cause for 28% of all deaths. Cancer deaths are the highest amongst the 70+ age group, with over 93,700 people dying from cancer within this age group, however, proportionally more people die of cancer amongst the 60–69 age group compared with all other age groups.

147,000 cancer survivors in the UK are in the last year of life. Of these, most people (81%) would prefer to die at home, but only 30% of them actually do.

Download the rich picture on people at the end of life [PDF].

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People living with cancer from black and ethnic minority communities

13% of people living in the UK describe themselves as belonging to a BME (non-white) group. Overall people from Asian and mixed communities are 20%-60% less likely to get cancer than the white population and the majority of BME groups have a lower mortality from cancer than the national average.

People from BME communities overall have a poorer experience of cancer services.

Communication issues, stereotyping and mistrust of healthcare professionals can be significant barriers in accessing cancer services, resulting in lower uptake of cancer screening programmes and palliative care and late presentations in some groups.

Download the rich picture on people living with cancer from BME communities [PDF].

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LGBT people living with cancer

An estimated 5% to 7% of the population in the UK are lesbian, gay or bisexual, according to Treasury actuary estimates, which equates to approximately 3.6 million people. It has been estimated that 300,000 people in the UK are transgender.

LGBT (Lesbian/Gay/Bi-sexual/Transgender) people with cancer are less likely than heterosexual people with cancer to be given information about the type of cancer they have or be informed about the available self help and support groups for people with cancer. They also report feeling excluded from support groups because they are not able to come out. There is a concern that some LGBT partners of cancer patients treated in hospital may be denied visiting rights and information because they are not seen as the ‘next of kin’.

Download the rich picture on LGBT people living with cancer [PDF].

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