Full List of UK Top 10 Most Common Cancers in Men Compared to Women

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Cancer is a disease that occurs when abnormal cells grow and divide in the body. They can then spread to other tissues and organs. As with any medical condition, the sooner you spot symptoms and seek treatment the better chance you have of survival.

In England and Wales, around half of cancer patients survive for 10 or more years after their diagnosis. This is significantly higher than it was 50 years ago, when survival rates were just 24 percent.

Your survival is dependent on so many factors including the type of cancer you have, how early it is detected, your age and your general health among others. However, your sex also has an influence.

A report by Cancer Research UK, the National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN), Leeds Metropolitan University and the Men’s Health Forum showed that men are 40 percent more likely to die from cancer than women overall, and 16 percent more likely to get the disease.

There are a number of reasons for this including lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking as well as the fact men are less likely to seek medical help for a problem.

Not only is there a disparity between cancer survival rates between men and women, but there are also differences between the types of the disease they get.

Cancer in men

Statistics from Cancer Research UK show that the 10 most common cancers among men are different from those found in women.

Based on UK data from 2016 to 2018, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men, accounting for more than a quarter of male cases - 27 percent.

The next most common cancers in UK males are lung cancer (13 percent) and bowel cancer (12 percent).

Prostate, lung and bowel cancers together account for more than half (53 percent) of all new cases in males in the UK.

The 10 most common cancers in men:

  • Prostate
  • Lung
  • Bowel
  • Head and neck
  • Kidney
  • Melanoma skin cancer
  • Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • Bladder
  • Oesophagus
  • Leukaemia.

Prostate cancer affects the prostate - a small, walnut sized organ found below the bladder.

It is particularly deadly because symptoms often do not appear until it has caused the prostate to become large enough to affect the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the penis.

This can result in:

  • Needing to pee more frequently, often during the night
  • Needing to rush to the toilet
  • Difficulty in starting to pee (hesitancy)
  • Straining or taking a long time while peeing
  • Weak flow
  • Feeling that your bladder has not emptied fully.

Other signs include blood in urine or blood in semen.

The NHS warns that these symptoms “should not be ignored”, however, they do not necessarily mean you have prostate cancer.

“It's more likely they're caused by something else, such as prostate enlargement,” the health body says. If you are over 50 you can ask to have a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test as part of an NHS screening programme.

However, they are not 100 percent reliable when it comes to picking up prostate cancer.

Cancer in women

In comparison, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the UK, accounting for almost a third (30 percent) of all cases.

The next most common cancers in women are the same as in the men - lung cancer (13 percent) and bowel cancer (10 percent).

Two of the ten most common cancers in females are sex-specific (uterus and ovary), compared with one of the ten most common cancers in males (prostate).

The 10 most common cancers in women in the UK are:

  • Breast
  • Lung
  • Bowel
  • Uterus
  • Melanoma skin
  • Ovary
  • Brain, other CNS and intracranial tumours
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Pancreas
  • Kidney.

The most common signs of breast cancer are:

  • A new lump or thickening in your breast or armpit
  • A change in size, shape or feel of your breast
  • Skin changes in the breast such as puckering, dimpling, a rash or redness of the skin
  • Fluid leaking from the nipple in a woman who isn’t pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Changes in the position of the nipple.

If you experience any of these symptoms you should speak to your GP.

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