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One in Two Canadians Will Get a Cancer Diagnosis in Their Lifetime: Cancer Society

June 20, 2017 9:02 AM | News


The Canadian Cancer Society is calling for a smoking and vaping ban on all Manitoba restaurant and bar outdoor patios amid a new Statistics Canada report on cancer figures across the country. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Pawel Dwulit)

WINNIPEG — Nearly one in two Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, and one in four will die from the disease, a new Canadian Cancer Society report says.

The lifetime cancer risk remains greater among males at 49 percent, while 45 percent of women are expected to be diagnosed.

According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017 report, nearly 90 percent of new cancer cases in Canada will be in people over 50-years-old.

The report also predicts the number of Canadian cancer cases will increase by 35 percent over the next 20 years as the population grows and ages. In Manitoba, the increase is expected to be between 50 and 60 percent.

“This is a sobering report that demonstrates how cancer touches every family in Canada and Manitoba,” said Erin Crawford, senior director of public issues and community engagement for the Canadian Cancer Society.

“We need to recognize the challenges that this will impose on Manitoba’s health care system as the demand grows for diagnostics, treatment, palliative care and support services.”

Crawford said the latest statistics highlight the need for continued strengthening of cancer prevention efforts and early detection.

On a more positive note, the number of new cancer cases per 100,000 people continues to decline, while the number of people surviving the disease is also improving. Nearly 2.5 percent of Canadians — or 810,045 people — are living beyond their cancer diagnosis.

In Manitoba this year, four kinds of cancer will account for half of all cancer cases:

Four kinds of cancer will account for half of the cancer cases in Manitoba this year. They are:

  • Lung: 910 new cases this year
  • Colorectal: 870
  • Breast: 860
  • Prostate: 700

Crawford says half of all cancer cases can be prevented through healthy behaviours and policies that protect the public.

“This report shows the importance of taking the steps we can, whether it is having our children vaccinated or reducing the impact of second-hand smoke on patios,” she added.