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Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012

09 May 2012

New Brunswick -

Lower smoking rates, better screening and treatment have contributed to a decline in cancer mortality rates in New Brunswick.

According to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012, released today by the Canadian Cancer Society in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada, declines in death rates in New Brunswick were seen in all four major cancers – lung, colorectal, breast and prostate, with the exception of lung cancer death rates in women, which are trending upward.

In men, the decline in smoking rates is a significant reason for the drop in death rates. Among Canadian males aged 15 and up, smoking has declined from a high of 61% in 1965 to 20% in 2010. The lung cancer death rate for men dropped 30% between 1988 and 2007. Among women, however, the lung cancer death rate has not yet dropped. This is because smoking among women peaked later than among men and saw substantial declines beginning only in the 1980s. In 1965, 38% of Canadian women smoked, compared to 14% of Canadian women who smoked in 2010.

New Brunswick rates are similar to the national trends. Smoking rates have declined, as have lung cancer death rates for men.

“Tobacco use accounts for more than one-quarter of all cancer deaths,” said Anne McTiernan-Gamble, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick. “More New Brunswickers die of lung cancer every year than the combined deaths from breast, colorectal and prostate cancer.”

New Brunswick continues to have higher-than-average smoking rates (19% in 2010, compared to the national average of 17%). “Even though tobacco use is decreasing, one-fifth of our population in New Brunswick still smokes, highlighting the need for stronger tobacco control efforts,” Ms. McTiernan-Gamble said.

The Canadian Cancer Society New Brunswick is a leader advocating for tobacco control. The Society continues to push for government action to expand tobacco-free environments. This includes a ban on smoking in outdoor public places such as sports fields, parks, playgrounds and entrances and exits to public buildings. The Society is also advocating for subsidized pharmacological support for smokers who wish to quit, and a ban on flavoured tobacco products.

Death rates for prostate, colorectal and breast cancer in New Brunswick are also continuing on a downward trend, which could be attributed to improved cancer screening practices and treatments.

“We are seeing decreasing breast cancer mortality partially due to our organized screening program,” Ms. McTiernan-Gamble said. “There is potential for further improvements in death rates in New Brunswick as organized screening programs for cervical and colorectal cancers are fully implemented.”

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012 general highlights for New Brunswick

  • An estimated 4,900 new cases of cancer and 1,910 deaths from cancer are expected to occur in New Brunswick in 2012.
  • An estimated 410 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012, and an estimated 330 will die from the disease. An estimated 370 women will be diagnosed, and approximately 280 will die.
  • More men than women are diagnosed with cancer (2,700 and 2,200 new cases respectively).
  • More than one-quarter of all cancer deaths (27%) are due to lung cancer.
  • The five-year relative survival rate for all cancers combined is 62%.

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2012 was prepared and distributed through a collaboration of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, provincial/territorial cancer registries, as well as university-based and provincial/territorial cancer agency-based cancer researchers.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Paula White

Manager, Communications, CCSNB

Phone: (506) 634-6040