Cost of preventable cancers in the UK to total £1.88 TN from 2023 to 2040

Cost of preventable cancers in the UK to total £1.88 TN from 2023 to 2040

Frontier Economics’ latest research examines the social and economic cost of preventable cancers in the UK.

The key findings estimate that the total cost of UK preventable cancer cases diagnosed in 2023 is £133 billion, equating to 5.07% of annual GDP. For new cases diagnosed between 2023 to 2040, the total cost is £1.88 trillion. This equates to an annual cost of at least £90 billion in each of these years in real, discounted 2023£.

The analysis considers five cost areas: individual, health care, social care, family and carer, and productivity. In 2023, the largest contributors to costs were individual costs at £65 billion, and productivity lost at £40 billion, driven by the quality of life and unpaid productivity lost due to mortality, respectively. The study also finds that the cost per case is highest for lung cancer (approx. £920,000 per case), similar for bowel, breast and other cancers (between £360,000 to £600,000 per case) and lowest for melanoma (approx. £190,000 per case).

Matthew Bell, Director at Frontier Economics, comments:

“Established research estimates that nearly 40% of UK cancer cases are preventable, through actions such as reducing tobacco use, reducing obesity and exposure to UV radiation.  Reducing the number of people with these cancers could be a central element to  reducing some costs for the NHS, and more significantly improving productivity and growth and the lives of countless people and their families.” 

The incidence of preventable cancers will increase over time. The research estimates that in 2040 there will be approximately 226,000 new preventable cancer cases (from 184,000 in 2023), and between 2023 to 2040 there will be a total of 3.7 million new preventable cancer cases.

Frontier's study was undertaken using published evidence and is in line with UK government appraisal guidance. Please refer to the attached report for further information.

Please click below to access the full report. For more information contact Alex Charlwood on

Since the publication of the original report, we have updated the analysis in relation to the cost to the UK economy.

Revised estimates: QALYs lost due to mortality

The societal and economic costs of preventable cancers in the UK