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In 2016/17, 12,408 people (2.4%) in the Newcastle and Gateshead area had been diagnosed with some form of cancer [Chart - Cancer prevalence].[1]


In 2014/15 there were 2,744 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 544 is not significantly different from the incidence for England of 523 [Chart - All cancer incidence].[2] For every 100 incidences of cancer that would be expected (based on the England average) there are 125 in Dunston and Teams - the highest ratio of all Gateshead wards. The lowest ratio is in Low Fell at 95 for every 100 that would be expected [Map - Ward all cancer incidence].[3]

lungsIn 2015 in NewcastleGateshead the largest incidence of cancer were the following types: 540 incidence of trachea, bronchus and lung cancer, 337 breast cancer, 294 colorectal cancer, 271 prostate cancer, and 158 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, there are 134 in Crawcrook & Greenside. For every 100 incidences of colorectal cancer that would be expected (based on the England average) there are 173 in Dunston and Teams. Dunston and Teams also has a high ratio of lung cancer incidences at 249 for every 100 that would be expected, as does Felling at 224. For every 100 incidences of prostate cancer that would be expected, there are 132 in Whickham North [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 2014-16 was 120.6 per 100,000. This is significantly higher than the 78.6 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 165 in Bridges and 157 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 similar in NewcastleGateshead CCG at 71.4% to that in England at 72.3%.[11] One year survival rates for the three key cancers of breast, colorectal and lung cancer in Newcastle Gateshead are 97.2%, 80.7% and 40.0% respectively compared with the England averages of 96.7%, 80.4% and 40.7% respectively.

Early Diagnosis

Early diagnosis can contribute to improved survival from cancer. At 6.9% NewcastleGateshead CCG area is lower than the England average of 7.6% 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]


78.9% of eligible women had been screened for breast cancer within the last 3 years as at 31 March 2016 [Chart - Breast cancer screening].[13] This is significantly higher than the England average of 75.5%.

74.8% 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 2016 [Chart - Cervical cancer screening].[13] This is around 480 fewer women than in 2014 when the rate was 76.5%. However, it remains significantly better than the England average of 72.7%.

60.4% 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 2016 [Chart - Bowel cancer screening]. This is better than the England average of 57.9%.[13]

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, 2016/17 (Cancer Services website)

[2] New cancer cases - Incidence, 2014/15 (Cancer Services website)

[3] National Cancer Registration and Analysis Services Cancer Analysis System, 2011-15 (Local Health website)

[4] Incidence of various cancer types, CancerData Incidence Base Numbers, PHE 2015 (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, 2014-16 (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 2011-15 (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 2000 and 2015, followed up to 2016 (ONS website)

[12] NHS England Cancer Waiting Times Database, 2016/17 (Cancer Services website)

[13] HSCIC/PHE 2016 (PHOF website)

Last modified on 4th December 2018

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