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About Cancer in Canada

 The bad news: Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, and is responsible for over 30 per cent of all deaths. An estimated 1 in 2 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and 1 in 4 will die from it.

The good news: According to Dr. Benjamin Neel, Research Director of the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, “We have learned more about cancer in the past 30 years than in all the millennia prior to that.”

In 2017, an estimated 206,200 new cases of cancer and 80,800 cancer deaths will occur in Canada. Lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancer remain the four most common cancer types in Canada accounting for more than half of all cancers diagnosed in Canada.

Every day, 565 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and 221 will die. Every hour, an estimated 24 people will be diagnosed with cancer, and nine will die. We are working hard to change this statistic, and it shows: At the beginning of 2009, over 830,000 Canadians who had been diagnosed with a cancer in the previous ten years were alive.

Age & Gender Distribution

Males have a 46% chance of developing cancer in their lifetime; women have a 41% chance.

The leading cancer in males is prostate cancer, with 23,600 expected new cases. In females the leading cancer is breast with 23,800 expected new cases. There will be 96,200 new cancer cases in men and 91,400 new cancer cases in females this year.

For men, their overall cancer incidence rate has been declining ever since 1993. Among women, the overall cancer incidence rate has been increasing slowly since the 1990s. This increase reflects a rise primarily of lung cancer.

Canadians over the age of 50 represent 88% of all new cancer cases. As well, nearly half of all new cases (43%) will occur in people aged 70 years or older. The Canadian population is aging. Seniors represent the fastest-growing age group in Canada. As a direct result of this, it is expected that a growing number of people will be diagnosed with diseases related to aging, such as cancer.

Trends in Incidence and Mortality

Much of the increase in cancer incidence over the past 30 years is due to an aging population; this increase can then be expected to continue as the population continues to age. With the rising incidence of cancer, there will be an equal increase in the need for diagnostic, treatment and support services in the healthcare system.

Cancer incidences increasing: Thyroid, Liver, Lung cancer for women

Cancer incidences decreasing: Prostate, Stomach, Lung cancer for men, Larynx

Cancer incidences fluctuating with age: Bladder, Breast, Colorectal

Incidence rates differ between sexes according to age. Specifically, females between 20 and 59 years have consistently higher incidence rates than males. And males under 20 and over 70 have consistently higher incidence rates than females.
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On average, mortality rates declined by at least 2% per year for the following cancers: colorectal, lung and prostate cancers in males; breast, ovary and cervical cancers in females; and larynx, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and stomach cancers in both sexes. Liver cancer mortality rates increased in both males and females

Among people under the age of 55 years, females account for a greater proportion of cancer deaths. Around age 55 and above, the mortality rate for males surpasses that for females.

While the overall incidence rate of cancer has been slightly increasing in Canada, the cancer death rate has been decreasing. The decrease in the overall mortality rate also reflects the availability of better treatment options, particularly for cancers that are detected at an early stage of disease when they are most responsive to treatments.

Call the Road Hockey office at 1.877.541.4646 to learn about where you can find more information.

*Data contained on this page taken from ‘Canadian Cancer Statistics 2013.