Media backgrounder #2: Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014

28 May 2014

Toronto -

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014 was released today by the Canadian Cancer Society in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.

Current estimates of new cases and deaths

In 2014:

  • An estimated 191,300 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Canada (not including approximately 76,100 cases of non-melanoma skin cancer).
  • There will be an estimated 76,600 deaths from cancer.

Every hour of every day, an average of 22 people will be diagnosed with some type of cancer, and 9 people will die from the disease.

  • Of the newly diagnosed cases, more than half (52%) will be prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers.
  • Canadians aged 50–79 will represent almost 70% of all new cancer cases and 62% of cancer deaths in 2014. The highest proportion of new cancer cases (53,000 cases, or 28%) will occur in Canadians aged 60–69, while the highest proportion of deaths from cancer (25,900 deaths, or 34%) is expected in those aged 80 and older.

The number of new cancer cases and cancer deaths continues to rise steadily as the Canadian population grows and ages.

Prostate cancer

  • Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian men (24% of all new cases of cancer in men).
  • In 2014, it is estimated that approximately 23,600 Canadian men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and about 4,000 will die from the disease.
  • The age-adjusted incidence and death rates have both been declining. The age-adjusted death rate has been declining significantly by almost 4% per year between 2001 and 2009, which likely reflects improved treatments for this cancer.

Breast cancer

  • Breast cancer continues to be the most commonly diagnosed cancer among Canadian women (26% of all new cases of cancer in women).
  • In 2014, it is estimated that approximately 24,400 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 5,000 will die from it.
  • Both the age-adjusted incidence and death rates have been declining, and the death rate has been decreasing significantly, with a reduction of 43% since peaking in 1986. The decrease in the death rate has been 2.4% per year between 2000 and 2009. This is likely because of earlier diagnosis through screening mammography and availability of improved treatment. The breast cancer death rate is the lowest it has been since 1950.
  • Between 1986 and 2009, 23,721 breast cancer deaths were avoided due to improved treatments and greater uptake of mammography screening.

Lung cancer

  • Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women.
  • Lung cancer takes the lives of more Canadians than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined.
  • Tobacco use causes more than 85% of lung cancer cases. Other causes of lung cancer include radon and asbestos exposure, air pollution, certain lung diseases, a family history of lung cancer and exposure to certain occupational chemicals.
  • In women:

    • The age-adjusted lung cancer incidence rate has been increasing since at least the 1960s but stabilized between 2006 and 2010.
    • The age-adjusted death rate for women between 2000 and 2009 shows a slight increase of 0.6% per year.
  • In men:

    • The age-adjusted lung cancer incidence and death rates began to level off in the mid to late 1980s after several decades of increase, and have been declining ever since.
    • The age-adjusted incidence rates dropped by 2% per year between 2001 and 2010 and death rates by 2.2% per year between 2000 and 2009.

The difference between the male and female trends reflects the drop in smoking that began for men in the early 1960s and much later for women in the 1980s.

Between 1988 and 2009, 19,363 lung cancer deaths were avoided as a result of the decrease in incidence rate.

Colorectal cancer

  • Between 2001 and 2010, the age-adjusted incidence rate for men decreased by 0.8% per year, and the incidence rate for women decreased by 0.6% per year.
  • The age-adjusted death rates continued to decline for both men and women – by 2.7% per year in men between 2004 and 2009 and 1.8% per year in women between 2000 and 2009. This is likely the result of improvements in treatment, such as chemotherapy, and increasing availability and uptake of screening.

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014 was prepared through a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial cancer registries.

For more information about Canadian Cancer Statistics 2014, visit cancer.ca

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, the Society has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. Building on our progress, we are working with Canadians to change cancer forever. For more information, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).

For more information, please contact:

Sasha Anopina

Bilingual Communications Specialist

Canadian Cancer Society

National office

Phone: 416-934-5338