1 in 2 Canadians will get cancer: Cancer Society

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Almost one in every two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and one in four Canadians will die from the disease, a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society predicts.

The study shows that cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada. About 90 per cent of all the cancers that are diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older.

About 45 per cent of those cases will occur in people age 70 and older, said Smith, noting that as more people move into old age, the number of cancer cases will rise.

Mortality rates declined over past 30 years. Declines in death rates have been largely driven by decreases in lung cancer incidence and mortality, so tobacco control in general has had a big impact on our death rates.

Still, four cancers — prostate, breast, lung and colorectal — continue to top the list of the most common malignancies, which together are expected to account for more than half the cancer diagnoses in 2017. Lung cancer continues to take a huge toll: more people are predicted

Survival rates for some cancers have improved dramatically over time: overall, 60 per cent of Canadians diagnosed and treated for cancer will survive five years or longer, said Smith.

But that's not the case for pancreatic cancer. With an eight per cent five-year survival rate, the gastrointestinal cancer has the poorest prognosis of the 23 malignancies the Canadian Cancer Society reports on. This year, an estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and 4,800 will die of the disease.

'Unfortunately, we're seeing very little improvement in pancreatic cancer, not just in Canada but around the world.' - Dr. Leah Smith

Click here to read the CBC News article.

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