Lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). It is the leading cause of death from cancer for both men and women in Canada.
To provide the most current cancer statistics, researchers use statistical methods to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.
Incidence and mortality
Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer.
It is estimated that in 2013:
- 25,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer. This represents 14% of all new cancer cases in 2013.
- 20,200 Canadians will die from lung cancer. This represents 27% of all cancer deaths in 2013.
- 13,300 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 10,700 will die from it.
- 12,200 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer and 9,500 will die from it.
- On average, 70 Canadians will be diagnosed with lung cancer every day.
- On average, 55 Canadians will die from lung cancer every day.
Estimated Canadian lung cancer statistics (2013)
Incidence rate (for every 100,000 people)*
Death rate (for every 100,000 people)*
*Age-standardized to the 1991 Canadian Standard Population. Age-standardization is a statistical method that removes the effect of age on the calculated rate. It allows rates to be compared over time or across provinces and territories.
Trends in lung cancer
In Canada, the incidence rate for lung cancer is higher in men than in women, even though the incidence rate for men has been decreasing since the mid-1980s. The incidence rate in women is still rising, but it appears to be levelling off. This difference in incidence rates for men and women is likely because men’s smoking rates began to decline earlier than women’s smoking rates.
For men, the lung cancer death rate has been steadily decreasing since it peaked in the late 1980s. The lung cancer death rate continues to climb among women because the rate of new cases is still increasing.
Chances (probability) of developing or dying from lung cancer
Based on 2007 estimates:
- About 1 in 11 Canadian men is expected to develop lung cancer during his lifetime and one in 13 will die from it.
- About 1 in 15 Canadian women is expected to develop lung cancer during her lifetime and one in 18 will die from it.
For more information, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.