Although relatively rare, compared with cancer in adults, cancer is more common in TYA than in children. Cancer in young people accounts for less than 1% of all new cancer cases. Cancer statistics for adults are generally classified according to the site of the tumour in the body, such as lung, bowel, breast. TYA cancers, however, are more appropriately classified using a system that also takes into account the type of cell and tissue from which the cancer originates. This system is similar, but not identical, to the system used for the classification of childhood tumours.
- In female young people in the UK, there are around 1,200 new cancer cases in the UK every year
- In male young people in the UK, there are around 1,100 new cancer cases in the UK every year
- Among young people in the UK, cancer incidence rates are highest in those aged 20-24 (2015-2017)
- Since the early 1990s, incidence rates for cancers in young people have increased by more than a quarter (28%) in the UK. Over the last decade, incidence rates for cancers in young people have increased by a tenth (10%) in the UK
- Lymphomas are the most common group of cancers in young people
- Other carcinomas and melanomas are the most commonly diagnosed types of cancer in young people. Other carcinomas and melanomas, lymphomas, and germ cell tumours together account for around two-thirds of all cancers diagnosed in UK young people (1997-2016)
- Although making up a smaller proportion of cases overall, the incidence rate of CNS tumours is the same in childhood and TYA