There are over 200 different types of cancer, each with its own risk factors, methods of diagnosis and treatment. Some of the known causes of cancer are excessive alcohol consumption, exposure to asbestos, unhealthy dietphysical inactivity, being overweight or obese, being exposed to natural and man-made radiation, smoking and tobacco use, ultraviolet light (including sun exposure and use of sun beds), and viruses such as human papilloma virus (HPV).

Key findings


Prevalence refers to the number of cases of a disease that are present in a particular population at a given time. In the case of cancer, the data are from the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) disease registers.

  • The latest figures (2017/18) indicate that there are 43,971 known cases of cancer across the six clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in the Lancashire-12 area.
  • Of the six CCGs, five record a prevalence significantly above the England average (2.7%). These are: NHS Fylde & Wyre CCG (4.0%), NHS Morecambe Bay CCG (3.2%), NHS West Lancashire CCG (3.2%), NHS Chorley and South Ribble (3.1%) and NHS East Lancashire CCG (2.8%).
  • NHS Greater Preston CCG (2.6%) is statistically lower than England.


Incidence refers to the total number of new confirmed (diagnosed) cases of a disease, in a population at a given period of time. For cancer, the data are all new diagnoses of malignant cancer (ICD10 C00-C97), excluding skin cancers other than malignant melanoma, from the National Cancer Registration Service. The rates below are a crude rate per 100,000 of the population (all ages) (2016/17). 

  • There were 7,947 new cases of cancer in the six CCGs across the Lancashire-12 area.
  • NHS Fylde & Wyre CCG (759) and NHS Morecambe Bay CCG (617) have a significantly higher rate compared to England (521).
  • NHS West Lancashire CCG (580), NHS East Lancashire CCG (544), NHS Greater Preston (543) and NHS Chorley and South Ribble CCG (528) are similar to England. 

Cancer survival

The latest CCG-level one-year cancer survival figures refer to adults (aged 15-99) diagnosed 2000 to 2015 and followed up to 2016.

  • Survival rates vary between the different CCGs, with NHS East Lancashire CCG (70.3%) having a significantly lower one-year survival rate compared to England (72.3%)
  • NHS Morecambe Bay CCG (73.0%) has a survival rate significantly above England, while the remaining four are similar. 
  • Trend line analysis found that all six CCGs continue to see long-term improvements in the survival rates one year from diagnosis.

All-age mortality

The rates below are directly standardised and are for 100,000 of the population (all ages).

  • Of all deaths recorded in the Lancashire-12 area in 2016, 26.8% (3,301 persons) had an underlying cause of cancer, significantly lower than the proportion for England (28.0%). 
  • Data for 2015-17 show that 2,309 deaths in Lancashire-12 were attributed to lung cancer, giving the area a rate of 63.4, significantly higher than England (56.3).
  • For oral cancer, Lancashire-12's rate (4.9) is similar to England (4.6). 

Premature mortality

Reducing premature mortality - referred to as mortality in persons aged 74 or under - is a major priority for both Public Health England and the NHS, with many deaths caused by diseases and illnesses that are considered avoidable. The rates below are directly standardised and are for 100,000 of the population (under-75 years).

  • During 2015-17, there were 4,612 premature deaths from cancer across Lancashire-12 and of these, 2,757 were considered preventable. 
  • The rate of premature mortality from cancer in Lancashire-12 (137.8) is similar to the England average (134.6). 
  • The rate of premature mortality from cancer considered preventable in Lancashire-12 (82.6) is significantly higher than England (78.0).
  • Blackpool (112.0) and Blackburn with Darwen (97.9) also recorded rates significantly above England for premature mortality from cancer considered preventable.

The Neighbourhood Intelligence Mortality Dashboard shows the standardised mortality ratio (SMR) for all cancers for wards in Lancashire.

Public Health England also produces the Cancer Services profiles for further details.

For CCG, county and unitary data and further information please see below.

 Page updated January 2019