Facts and statistics
The following are from the Office for National Statistics. Analysed by Dr. Robert Alston, Professor Jillian Birch and Professor Tim Eden.
What are the signs of cancer in young people?
The five most common signs of cancer in young people aged 13 to 24 are persistent and unexplained:
- Pain (all kinds including headaches, stomach-ache, pains in legs or arms etc)
- Lump, bump or swelling
- Extreme tiredness
- Significant weight loss
- Changes in a mole
Anyone concerned about their health should speak to their GP
- There are many other signs of cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust wants to empower young people to be able to spot when something changes and have the confidence to speak to doctors.
How many young people have cancer?
Every day in the UK, around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer.
An average of 2,214 teenagers and young adults (aged 15-24) per year were diagnosed with cancer between 2008 and 2010 in the UK.
Cancer is relatively rare in teenagers compared with the adult population, with less than one per cent of the total cancers being diagnosed in 15 to 24 year olds.
Cancer is the leading medical (non-accidental) cause of death in young people.
In young people aged 15 to 24, cancer occurs most commonly in the older ages of 20 to 24 years (62%) compared with 15 to 19 years (38%).
What kind of cancers do young people get?
The most common cancers in young people aged 15 to 24 are:
- Lymphomas, 21%
- Carcinomas, 20%
- Germ cell tumours, 15%
- Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours, 14%
- Malignant melanoma, 11%
- Leukaemias, 9%
- Bone tumours, 5%
- Soft tissue sarcomas, 4%
Other and unspecified, 1%
The most common cancer in young men are germ cell tumours (testicular cancer) (27%)
Data from the Office for National Statistics, IDS Scotland, Welsh Cancer Intelligence, Northern Ireland Cancer Registry 2012. Place of Death for Children, Teenagers and Young Adults with Cancer in England, National Cancer Intelligence Network, 2011. North West Cancer Intelligence Service