Incidence and mortality
An estimated 186,400 new cases of cancer (excluding about 81,300 non-melanoma skin cancers) and 75,700 deaths will occur in Canada in 2012. In 2007, cancer surpassed cardiovascular disease (heart and cerebrovascular) as the leading cause of death in Canada.
- In 2012, approximately 88,800 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer, and an estimated 36,200 women will die of cancer.
- Approximately 97,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer, and an estimated 39,500 men will die of cancer.
- Lung, prostate, breast and colorectal cancer are the 4 most common cancer types (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in Canada and account for over 50% of all new cancer cases.
- Lung cancer accounts for over a quarter (27%) of all cancer deaths each year.
- Breast cancer accounts for over a quarter (28%) of new cancer cases in women.
- Prostate cancer accounts for over a quarter (27%) of new cancer cases in men.
While cancer is primarily a disease that affects Canadians aged 50 and older, it can occur at all ages.
Across Canada, rates of cancer incidence vary because of variation in risk factors and early detection of cancer. Similarly, rates of death vary because of variation in cancer screening and treatment.
Probability of developing or dying from cancer
Based on 2006 estimates:
- An estimated 2 out of 5 Canadians is expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes (40% of Canadian women and 45% of men).
- An estimated 1 out of every 4 Canadians is expected to die from cancer (24% of Canadian women and 29% of men).
Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in Canada – 1,048,900 years of life were lost in 2006 as a result of cancer. This represents 27% of the potential years of life lost resulting from all causes of death.
At the beginning of 2007, there were approximately 748,897 Canadians who had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years.
- This represents about 2.3% of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 44 Canadians.
Based on 2004–2006 estimates:
- 62% of people are expected to survive for 5 years after their cancer diagnosis compared to the general population of the same age and sex.
- Survival rates differ according to the type of cancer – from poor (for cancers such as lung, pancreas), average (for colorectal cancer), to good (for cancers such as prostate, thyroid). Survival has increased for all cancers combined from 56% to 62% in the decade between 1992-94 and 2004-6.
Source: Canadian Cancer Society