1 Introduction

Data on cancer diagnoses is provided to UK Biobank by the NHS Digital and Public Health England for participants residing in England and Wales, and the NHS Central Register (NHSCR) for participants residing in Scotland. Cancer registries acquire information on cancer diagnoses from a variety of sources including hospitals, cancer centres and treatment centres, hospices and nursing homes, private hospitals, cancer screening programmes, other cancer registers, general practices, death certificates, and Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) and Cancer Waiting Time (CWT) data. (In many instances, more than one source of information is available to cancer registries from a single organisation, for example hospital patient information systems, pathology laboratories, medical records departments and radiotherapy databases). This report details the number of prevalent and incident cases of cancer within the UK Biobank cohort, as identified through linkage to national cancer registries.

2 Aim

The aim of this report is to provide researchers with an indication of the numbers of prevalent and incident cases of cancers in the UK Biobank Resource, in order to guide timings for submitting cancer-related research applications. Please See Table 1.

  • Prevalent cases of cancer are defined as those diagnosed prior to the recruitment date into UK Biobank.
  • Incident cases of cancer are defined as those diagnosed after the recruitment date into UK Biobank.

3 Inclusion criteria

  • If a participant was diagnosed with cancer before and after baseline, only the prevalent case is counted.

  • If a participant was diagnosed several times with cancer in the same site, only the first one is counted.

  • If a participant was diagnosed with cancer in different sites on different dates, only the first one is counted.

  • If a participant was diagnosed with cancer in different sites on the same date, both are counted. This occurs for (N = 44 individuals with prevalent cancers and 0 individuals with incident cancers).

  • This summary only includes cancers identified from the cancer registry (cancer records from self-reported cancer, primary care records, hospital records are not included here).

  • The numbers of cases of cancers is provided by broad cancer groupings (according to ICD10 or ICD9 codes), as well as the numbers for individual sub-sites of most interest to researchers. Please contact the Access Team if you wish to enquire about the numbers of cases of a specific cancer site (i.e. for ICD10/ICD9 codes not included in this report).

  • The earliest record of cancer diagnosis in the UK Biobank cohort is 20 September 1957. This is the earliest date for which cancer registry data is available and hence cancers diagnosed prior to this date are not included here.

  • The numbers of cases of benign neoplasms may be under-estimated because not all benign neoplasms are routinely registered by cancer registries.

  • The contents of this document will be updated periodically, as and when follow-up data is incorporated into the UK Biobank Resource.

4 Information on this report

  • This report was created on the 24 May, 2022.
  • This report includes the numbers of cancers diagnosed during complete follow-up, as defined by the UK Biobank censoring date.
  • The latest cancer registry record linked to UKBiobank data was the 25 June, 2021




5 Numbers of prevalent and incident cancers

Table 1: Number of prevalent and incident cancers identified from the cancer registry for UK Biobank participants
Type Group Site Prevalent Incident
Malignant Oral cancer Total 527 858
Malignant Oral cancer Lip 25 21
Malignant Oral cancer Base Of Tongue 41 120
Malignant Oral cancer Other And Unspecified Parts Of Tongue 112 143
Malignant Oral cancer Gum 16 54
Malignant Oral cancer Floor Of Mouth 30 29
Malignant Oral cancer Palate 33 45
Malignant Oral cancer Other And Unspecified Parts Of Mouth 27 52
Malignant Oral cancer Parotid Gland 67 52
Malignant Oral cancer Other And Unspecified Major Salivary Glands 17 21
Malignant Oral cancer Tonsil 99 215
Malignant Oral cancer Oropharynx 11 29
Malignant Oral cancer Nasopharynx 25 23
Malignant Oral cancer Pyriform Sinus 12 25
Malignant Oral cancer Hypopharynx 3 18
Malignant Oral cancer Other And Ill-Defined Sites In The Lip, Oral Cavity And Pharynx 9 11
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Total 2842 8520
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Oesophagus 137 857
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Stomach 144 586
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Small Intestine 54 204
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Colon 1334 3253
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Rectosigmoid Junction 234 284
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Rectum 725 1364
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Anus And Anal Canal 79 159
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Liver And Intrahepatic Bile Ducts 36 502
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Gallbladder 7 104
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Other And Unspecified Parts Of Biliary Tract 33 144
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Pancreas 54 1037
Malignant Gastrointestinal cancer Other And Ill-Defined Digestive Organs 5 26
Malignant Lung cancer Total 308 3344
Malignant Lung cancer Trachea 4 4
Malignant Lung cancer Bronchus And Lung 304 3340
Malignant Respiratory cancer Total 225 243
Malignant Respiratory cancer Nasal Cavity And Middle Ear 17 33
Malignant Respiratory cancer Accessory Sinuses 8 15
Malignant Respiratory cancer Larynx 181 150
Malignant Respiratory cancer Thymus 12 28
Malignant Respiratory cancer Heart, Mediastinum And Pleura 7 14
Malignant Respiratory cancer Other And Ill-Defined Sites In The Respiratory System And Intrathoracic Organs 0 3
Malignant Bone cancer Total 66 42
Malignant Bone cancer Bone And Articular Cartilage Of Limbs 36 24
Malignant Bone cancer Bone And Articular Cartilage Of Other And Unspecified Sites 30 18
Malignant Skin cancer Total 1978 2217
Malignant Skin cancer Malignant Melanoma Of Skin 1978 2217
Malignant Mesothelioma Total 291 704
Malignant Mesothelioma Mesothelioma 13 345
Malignant Mesothelioma Kaposi’s Sarcoma 52 7
Malignant Mesothelioma Peripheral Nerves And Autonomic Nervous System 13 6
Malignant Mesothelioma Retroperitoneum And Peritoneum 31 142
Malignant Mesothelioma Other Connective And Soft Tissue 182 204
Malignant Breast cancer Total 9117 7993
Malignant Breast cancer Breast 9117 7993
Malignant Female genital cancer Total 2578 2494
Malignant Female genital cancer Vulva 74 104
Malignant Female genital cancer Vagina 14 13
Malignant Female genital cancer Cervix Uteri 920 103
Malignant Female genital cancer Corpus Uteri 864 1290
Malignant Female genital cancer Uterus 21 27
Malignant Female genital cancer Ovary 648 848
Malignant Female genital cancer Other And Unspecified Female Genital Organs 25 109
Malignant Female genital cancer Placenta 12 0
Malignant Male genital cancer Total 3816 9737
Malignant Male genital cancer Penis 35 51
Malignant Male genital cancer Prostate 3085 9592
Malignant Male genital cancer Testis 685 84
Malignant Male genital cancer Other And Unspecified Male Genital Organs 11 10
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Total 1113 2166
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Kidney 489 1149
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Renal Pelvis 17 75
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Ureter 13 51
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Bladder 588 878
Malignant Urinary tract cancer Other And Unspecified Urinary Organs 6 13
Malignant Eye, brain, neural cancer Total 273 802
Malignant Eye, brain, neural cancer Eye And Adnexa 104 92
Malignant Eye, brain, neural cancer Meninges 9 9
Malignant Eye, brain, neural cancer Brain 139 690
Malignant Eye, brain, neural cancer Spinal Cord, Cranial Nerves And Other Parts Of Central Nervous System 21 11
Malignant Endocrine cancer Total 369 399
Malignant Endocrine cancer Thyroid Gland 323 369
Malignant Endocrine cancer Adrenal Gland 15 23
Malignant Endocrine cancer Other Endocrine Glands And Related Structures 31 7
Malignant Lymphoma Total 1361 1947
Malignant Lymphoma Hodgkin’s Disease 367 124
Malignant Lymphoma Follicular (Nodular) Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 319 407
Malignant Lymphoma Diffuse Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 354 883
Malignant Lymphoma Peripheral And Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphomas 77 140
Malignant Lymphoma Other And Unspecified Types Of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma 237 335
Malignant Lymphoma Other Specified Types Of T-Nk-Cell Lymphoma 0 6
Malignant Lymphoma Malignant Immunoproliferative Diseases 7 52
Malignant Multiple myeloma Total 186 736
Malignant Multiple myeloma Multiple Myeloma And Malignant Plasma Cell Neoplasms 186 736
Malignant Leukaemia Total 511 1025
Malignant Leukaemia Lymphoid Leukaemia 305 611
Malignant Leukaemia Myeloid Leukaemia 191 383
Malignant Leukaemia Monocytic Leukaemia 4 14
Malignant Leukaemia Other Leukaemias Of Specified Cell Type 1 7
Malignant Leukaemia Leukaemia Of Unspecified Cell Type 10 10
Malignant Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue Total 13 27
Malignant Malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue Other And Unspecified Malignant Neoplasms Of Lymphoid, Haematopoietic And Related Tissue 13 27
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Total 8717 5404
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Oral Cavity, Oesophagus And Stomach 21 91
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Other And Unspecified Digestive Organs 85 428
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Middle Ear And Respiratory System 29 52
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Melanoma In Situ 499 1060
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Skin 692 514
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Breast 1347 1514
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Cervix Uteri 5279 370
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Other And Unspecified Genital Organs 299 441
Carcinoma in situ In situ neoplasms Other And Unspecified Sites 466 934
Benign Benign cancer Total 753 651
Benign Benign cancer Mouth And Pharynx 1 0
Benign Benign cancer Major Salivary Glands 47 0
Benign Benign cancer Colon, Rectum, Anus And Anal Canal 2 0
Benign Benign cancer Other And Ill-Defined Parts Of Digestive System 0 1
Benign Benign cancer Other And Unspecified Intrathoracic Organs 0 2
Benign Benign cancer Bone And Articular Cartilage 2 1
Benign Benign cancer Benign Haemangioma And Lymphangioma, Any Site 3 0
Benign Benign cancer Ovary 3 0
Benign Benign cancer Male Genital Organs 0 1
Benign Benign cancer Urinary Organs 4 1
Benign Benign cancer Meninges 282 357
Benign Benign cancer Brain And Other Parts Of Central Nervous System 196 145
Benign Benign cancer Thyroid Gland 1 0
Benign Benign cancer Other And Unspecified Endocrine Glands 208 143
Benign Benign cancer Other And Unspecified Sites 4 0
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Total 11425 23070
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Other Malignant Neoplasms Of Skin 9755 20751
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Other And Ill-Defined Sites 25 25
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Secondary And Unspecified Malignant Neoplasm Of Lymph Nodes 93 81
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Secondary Malignant Neoplasm Of Respiratory And Digestive Organs 20 154
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Secondary Malignant Neoplasm Of Other Sites 24 56
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Malignant Neoplasm Without Specification Of Site 34 245
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Independent (Primary) Multiple Sites 0 1
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Oral Cavity And Digestive Organs 240 212
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Middle Ear And Respiratory And Intrathoracic Organs 20 18
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Female Genital Organs 210 37
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Male Genital Organs 31 8
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Urinary Organs 367 440
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Meninges 11 42
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Brain And Central Nervous System 65 50
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Endocrine Glands 57 28
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Polycythemia Vera 115 105
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Myelodysplastic Syndromes 37 222
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Neoplasms Of Uncertain Or Unknown Behaviour Of Lymphoid, Haematopoietic And Related Tissue 174 418
Unspecified Unspecified cancer Other And Unspecified Sites 147 177