Cancer By The Numbers

It is estimated that 177,800 new cases of cancer (excluding 74,100 non-melanoma skin cancers) were diagnosed in Canada during 2011. Of these, 93,000 were male and 84,800 were female.

The four most prevalent cancers diagnosed in 2011 were prostate, lung, breast and colorectal.

It is estimated that 75,000 deaths from cancer occurred in 2011. Of these, 39,900 were male and 35,100 were female.

27.4% of all cancer deaths in Canada are attributed to lung cancer. 11.8% of Canadian cancer deaths are attributed to colorectal cancer. 6.8% of all cancer deaths in Canada are attributed to breast cancer while 5.4% are attributed to prostate cancer.    

The risk of cancer increases with age, with 42% of new cancer cases and 59% of cancer deaths occurring among those Canadians 70 years of age and older. Mortality is declining for males in most age groups and for females under 70.

Increases in the number of new cancer cases are due mainly to a growing and aging population.
Based on current incidence rates, 40% of Canadian women and 45% of Canadian men will develop cancer during their lifetimes. Current mortality rates indicate that 29% of men and 24% of women, or approximately one out of every four Canadians, will die from cancer.

As the number of Canadians diagnosed with cancer continues to grow and cancer survival increases, cancer prevalence rises. This growing burden will have healthcare resource implications as more Canadians will require ongoing medical treatment, surveillance and supportive care.
Reference: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2011, published by the Canadian Cancer Society.