ABOUT CANCER IN CANADA
Cancer strikes males and females, young and old, and those in different regions across Canada on a decidedly uneven basis. This section examines incidence and mortality by sex, age and geographic region to see how cancer affects people in Canada.
Incidence & Mortality
Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for over 30% of all deaths.
Four cancers—prostate, breast, lung and colorectal—together are expected to account for more than half (about 50%) of all new cases diagnosed in Canada in 2016.
Cancer primarily affects Canadians over the age of 50, as 89% of all new cases are diagnosed in people in this age group.
In 2016, it is estimated that 89% of all cancers will be diagnosed in Canadians age 50 years and over, while 44% will occur in Canadians 70 years of age and older.
Increases in the number of new cases are largely due to a growing and aging population.
Every day, 555 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and 216 will die. Every hour, an estimated 23 people will be diagnosed with cancer, and nine will die.
In 2016, an estimated 202,400 new cases of cancer and 78,800 cancer deaths will occur Canada.
An estimated 2 in 5 Canadians will develop cancer in their lifetimes, and 1 in 4 will die from it.
In 2009, about 810,045 Canadians diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years were alive. This represented about 2.4% of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 42 Canadians.
Forty-five per cent of men and 41 per cent of women in Ontario will develop cancer in their lifetime.
Cancer cases in Ontario are rapidly increasing due to an aging and growing population. Survival has improved for many of those diagnosed with cancer in the past several years. However, this is not true for all cancer types. Lung, colorectal, breast and prostate cancer account for the top four newly diagnosed cancers in Ontario.
Due to a variety of factors—including advances in detection (e.g. organized screening) and treatment—there is an improved five-year relative survival ratio for most cancers in Ontario. Most significantly, the greatest relative improvements in survival have occurred for cancer of the pancreas, leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Despite these gains, five-year relative survival ratios for some cancers remain consistently low, notably pancreas, lung and stomach cancers.
In 2016, an estimated 29,000 people will die of cancer in Ontario, and 77,700 new cases will be diagnosed.
Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer death among both men and women. An estimated 3,700 men will die of lung cancer and an estimated 3,400 women will die of lung cancer in Ontario this year.
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for men and the third-leading cause of cancer deaths for women in Ontario.
Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer of men. An estimated 7,900 men in Ontario will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2016.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer of women. An estimated 9,900 women in Ontario will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016.
For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.
Approximately 99,500 Canadian women and 102,900 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer in 2016.
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both sexes. It is responsible for approximately equal proportions of all cancer deaths in both males and females.
Prostate cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men, with 21,600 new cases expected in 2016.
Breast cancer remains the most common cancer diagnosed in women, with 25,700 new cases expected in 2016.
For both Canadian men and women, the median age of cancer diagnosis is between 65 and 69 years of age.
For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics Publication.
Source: Canadian Cancer Society