Headline data


In 2017/18, 13,326 people (2.5%) in the Newcastle and Gateshead area had been diagnosed with some form of cancer [Chart - Cancer prevalence][1] [See also: Cancer prevalence by GP practice].


In 2016/17 there were 2,773 new cancer cases in the Newcastle and Gateshead area (Current all cancer incidence data has only been made available at Newcastle and Gateshead CCG level. Previous data from the UK Cancer E-Atlas for 2008-10 shows Gateshead had on average 1,214 new cases in each of those years). As a crude rate per 100,000, the incidence in Newcastle and Gateshead of 532 is not significantly different from the incidence for England of 521 [Chart - All cancer incidence][2] [See also: Cancer incidence by GP practice]. For every 100 incidences of cancer that would be expected (based on the England average) there are 127 in Felling and 126 in Dunston and Teams. Both wards are significantly higher than the Gateshead average of 109 for every 100 that would be expected [Map - Ward all cancer incidence].[3]

lungsIn 2016 in NewcastleGateshead the largest incidence of cancer were the following types: 513 incidence of trachea, bronchus and lung cancer, 385 breast cancer, 292 colorectal cancer, 280 prostate cancer, and 165 skin cancer.[4] In terms of wards, some stand out as significantly higher than the Gateshead average. For every 100 incidences of breast cancer that would be expected (based on the England average), there are 145 in Crawcrook & Greenside. For every 100 incidences of lung cancer that would be expected  there are 229 in Bridges ward, 229 in Dunston & Teams, and 214 in Felling. [Map - Ward breast cancer incidence] [Map - Ward colorectal cancer incidence] [Map - Ward lung cancer incidence] [Map - Ward prostate cancer incidence].[3]

Incidence of lung cancer is closely related to cigarette smoking with almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer cases (86%) linked to tobacco.[5]

lungs2The number of lung cancer registrations in 2015-17 was 117.8 per 100,000. This is significantly higher than the 76.8 per 100,000 national rate [Chart - Lung cancer registrations].[6]

Preventable CancerMore than 4 in 10 cases of cancer could be prevented by lifestyle changes including: not smoking, keeping a healthy weight, eating healthily, drinking alcohol safely, being physically active, and staying safe in the sun.[7]


Even after taking into account the high incidence of cancer regionally, the North East has the highest mortality from cancer for any region in England.[2]

On average 286 people younger than 75 years of age died from cancer each year in Gateshead between 2015 and 2017 [Chart - U75 mortality from cancer]. Compared to England, there were 26 more deaths per 100,000 people (age standardised rate). Generally, the rate of deaths from cancer per 100,000 has been decreasing in recent years.[8] For every 100 deaths due to cancer that would be expected (based on the England average), there are 161 in Dunston & Teams [Map - Ward U75 mortality from cancer].[9]

Cancers for which the mortality rate is higher in Gateshead than in England overall are lung cancer and stomach cancer.[10]

deathDeaths in people younger than 75 years of age from cancer considered preventable was also higher in Gateshead than England, with 21 more deaths per 100,000 people [Chart U75 mortality from cancer considered preventable].[8] The trend over recent years in deaths from cancer considered preventable has been reducing.

Nationally, mortality rates are decreasing for most cancers; however, mortality rates are increasing for liver cancer, pancreatic cancer, melanoma, oral cancer and some digestive cancers. Mortality is also increasing for lung cancer in women, because reductions in smoking occurred later in women than men and we are seeing the delayed effects of smoking.


One-year survival from cancer (all cancers combined) is statistically significantly lower in NewcastleGateshead CCG at 71.9% to that in England at 72.8%.[11] One year survival rates for the three key cancers of breast, colorectal and lung cancer in Newcastle Gateshead are 97.6%, 80.9% and 40.3% respectively compared with the England averages of 96.9%, 80.6% and 41.6% respectively.

Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis can contribute to improved survival from cancer. At 7.5% NewcastleGateshead CCG area is exactly the same as the England average for the proportion of people referred by the 2-week rule for suspected cancer who were diagnosed with cancer [Chart - Two week referrals resulting in a cancer diagnosis].[12]


76.7% of eligible women had been screened for breast cancer within the last 3 years as at 31 March 2017 [Chart - Breast cancer screening][13] [See also: Breast cancer screening by GP practice]. This is significantly higher than the England average of 75.4%.

74.3% of eligible women had been screened for cervical cancer within the last 3.5 or 5.5 years (depending on age) as at 31 March 2017 [Chart - Cervical cancer screening][13] [See also: Cervical cancer screening by GP practice]. This is around 390 fewer women than in 2014 when the rate was 76.5%. However, it remains significantly better than the England average of 72.0%.

61.3% of the eligible population aged 60-74 had participated in the bowel cancer screening programme in the two and a half years leading up to 31 March 2017 [Chart - Bowel cancer screening]. This is better than the England average of 58.8%.[13] [See also: Bowel cancer screening by GP practice].

There are marked socioeconomic inequalities in uptake of cancer screening in the Cumbria, Northumberland and Tyne and Wear area, with uptake in more deprived areas significantly lower than in less deprived areas. This variation is particularly evident for bowel cancer screening.[12]

See also: UK Cancer E-Atlas ; National Cancer Patient Experience Survey - 2015 Report

[1] Cancer QOF prevalence, 2017/18 (Cancer Services website)

[2] New cancer cases - Incidence, 2016/17 (Cancer Services website)

[3] National Cancer Registration and Analysis Services Cancer Analysis System, 2012-16 (Local Health website)

[4] Incidence of various cancer types, CancerData Incidence Base Numbers, PHE 2016 (CancerData website)

[5] Lung cancer risk factors, Parkin DM. Tobacco-attributable cancer burden in the UK, 2010 (Cancer Research UK website)

[6] Lung cancer registrations, 2015-17 (Local Tobacco Control Profiles website)

[7] Death rates in top four cancer killers fall by a third over 20 years - Cancer Research UK, 18th August 2014 (Cancer Research UK website)

[8] ONS, 2015-17 (PHOF website)

[9] ONS mortality statistics 2013-17 (Local Health website)

[10] NCIN, 2009-11 (National Cancer Intelligence Network NCIN website)

[11] ONS 1-year cancer survival by CCG in England, Adults diagnosed between 2001 and 2016, followed up to 2017 (ONS website)

[12] NHS England Cancer Waiting Times Database, 2017/18 (Cancer Services website)

[13] HSCIC/PHE 2017 (PHOF website)

Last modified on 8th August 2019

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