Mouth and throat cancer preventability statistics

Mouth and throat cancer (also known as mouth, pharynx and larynx cancer) is the eighth most common cancer in the UK.

Mouth and throat cancer incidence

In 2013, 10,655 cases of cancer of the mouth and throat were diagnosed. Of these cancer cases, 7,245 were in men and 3,125 were in women.

Mouth and throat cancer mortality

In the UK in 2013, there were 3,339 deaths from cancer of the mouth and throat. Of these deaths, 2,320 were men and 1,019 were women.

Proportion preventable

By far the most important thing for reducing the risk of mouth and throat cancer is not smoking. But scientists also estimate the following proportion of cases of mouth and throat could be prevented in the UK through healthy changes:

Lifestyle factor Increase or decrease risk? Approximate % preventable
Non-starchy vegetables Decrease 34
Fruits Decrease 17
Alcohol Increase 41
Total   67

Find out more about preventability estimates or, for more detailed information, download appendix A of our policy report.


The figures come from the following sources: incidence for EnglandWalesScotland and Northern Ireland; mortality for England and WalesScotland and Northern Ireland.