Cancer cases expected to rise

27 May 2015

Charlottetown, PE -

New cancer cases expected to rise dramatically within 15 years

National Cancer Statistics Released


The number of new cancer cases on Prince Edward Island will rise about 34% (nearly 40% nationally) in the next 15 years, according to a new report – Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015 – released by the Canadian Cancer Society in collaboration with   the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.


In 2030, it’s estimated that 1,340 Islanders will be diagnosed with cancer compared to 910 this year. 


This is the first time the annual Canadian Cancer Statistics report has presented long-term predictions of the future burden of cancer in Canada. The report estimates that 277,000 people a year will be diagnosed with cancer by 2030 – a 40% rise in cases – led by upsurges in prostate and colorectal cancer cases in an aging population.


 “Such a dramatic rise in the number of cancer cases will have major repercussions on our healthcare system,” says Jane Farquharson, executive director of the Canadian Cancer Society, P.E.I. Division.  “The burden will not only be a matter of increased financial costs, the human toll is overwhelming. We must do everything we can to change this pattern and reduce our individual risks of getting cancer.”


Tremendous progress has already been made in the fight against cancer, including big gains in survival rates. But Canada’s rapidly aging population – 1 in 4 Canadians will be 65 or older by 2030 – will push the country beyond its current capacity to provide adequate care for cancer patients. In addition, the population is growing in number.  By 2030, there will be about 10 million more people living in Canada, an increase of nearly 30% from 2005.


While the sheer number of cases will rise because of the aging and growing population, today’s report predicts that incidence rates – a measure of the risk of getting cancer – will remain steady, with rates dipping slightly for men and increasing slightly for women.

The surge in cancer cases will have an impact on many aspects of Canadian society, including healthcare systems, healthcare providers, caregivers and families. As treatment and care continue to improve, there will also be a greater need for support for the anticipated increase in cancer survivors.


Carol MacLauchlan is a firm believer of the importance of doing everything possible to reduce your risks of cancer.   The 66-year-old home caregiver from Charlottetown was diagnosed with cancer in both breasts in 2013. 


“You have to feed your body properly, if you are going to be able to fight this disease.  I am now very careful to eat healthy foods and get regular exercise,” says MacLauchlan. “It’s important to take charge of your health; nobody else is going to do it for you.”


A former smoker, MacLauchlan is thankful she quit more than five years ago. “I never smoked a lot but I did smoke regularly for about 30 years.  I know the harm it does and now I even avoid being near the smell of a cigarette.”


Dr. Lamont Sweet, a volunteer with the Society and former chief medical officer with the province, champions the power of prevention.


“We don’t know why many cancers form but we do know that about half of all cancers can be prevented.  It’s up to all of us do everything we can to reduce our risk factors and for the proper policies to be in place to help us successfully achieve that,” says Dr. Sweet. 

The Canadian Cancer Society believes everyone involved in the healthcare system, including cancer researchers, academics, governments, and non-government service providers, must work together to ensure the resources are in place to respond to the looming increase in cancer cases.

The Speech from the Throne will be delivered on June 3, 2015. This provides the opportunity for Government to demonstrate their commitment to reducing cancer on PEI.


 “If the status quo remains, these predictions are daunting,” says Farquharson. “It’s crucial that we know what’s coming so governments, NGO’s and communities can prepare. The information in this report will be tremendously helpful in the planning of cancer control programs for prevention, screening, early detection, treatment, palliative and other medical care.”


Farquharson points to the good news that while cancer diagnoses are on the rise, mortality rates are not. “There is life after cancer,” says Farquharson. “Today, more than ever, people are living longer, fuller lives after cancer.”

The Society is already playing a key role in reducing the burden of cancer by funding excellent research across Canada to find more answers about cancer, such as understanding how genetics, diet and gut microbes interact to fuel colorectal cancer.  The Society delivers a wide variety of information, programs and services to prevent cancer (such as helping people to quit smoking) and to support people living with cancer, their families and caregivers.  It advocates to governments on prevention and cancer care issues, such as tobacco plain packaging and cancer screening programs.

(Photo: Dr. Lamont Sweet, volunteer and former chief medical officer with the province, Jane Farquharson, Executive Director, and Carol MacLauchlan, cancer survivor)


For more information contact:
Claire Nantes
Cancer Prevention Coordinator
902 566-1713 ext. 2240
mobile:  902 218-6385


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.