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Cancer Statistics

Cancers in Teenage and Young Adults

NHS National Services Scotland ISD Scotland & NHS National Services Scotland

Cancers in Teenage and Young Adults

The distribution of cancers in teenagers and young adults is different from that in adults and in children; in order to describe this distribution and to address the provision of services for diagnosis and treatment of this group, a separate classification system was developed in 2002 by Birch et al. and updated by Barr et al. (2006).

Key Points:

  • In the 30 year period 1979-2008 there were 5,267 cancers diagnosed in persons aged between 15 and 24 years, an average of 176 per year and representing less than 1% of malignant neoplasms diagnosed in a given year.
  • Incidence has risen over the period 1979-2008, but has been largely stable over the last two 5 year periods with the exception of some specific types of cancer.
  • The observed survival rate has increased over the same time period: for all cancers combined, survival at one year after diagnosis has increased by 11 percentage points, to approximately 94% of diagnoses, while five year survival has increased by 16 percentage points to 83%.

Information on incidence and survival for cancers in teenagers and young adults is presented in the 'Cancers in Teenagers and Young Adults in Scotland (1979-2008)' publication.


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