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Half of Canadians expected to get cancer

CathyCathy Telfer from Chatham, Ontario, has survived 2 diagnoses of melanoma – first in 1997 and then again 10 years later. When her husband, Bob, was diagnosed with bladder cancer just days after their grandson was born, she remembers asking herself “will he get to see his grandson grow up?” Happily, both Cathy and Bob are doing well today.

Cathy’s story is not unique. In fact, according to the most recent Canadian Cancer Statistics report released in June, nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. We released this report on the state of cancer in Canada in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.

While this is a truly sobering statistic, it’s also true that real progress has been made in the fight against cancer. The overall cancer survival rate has increased from about 25% in the 1940s to 60% now, thanks to improvements in prevention, detection and treatment. Some cancers, like thyroid and testicular, now have survival rates over 90%. Yet other cancers, such as pancreatic and brain cancer, continue to have very low survival rates. We need to do more. 

Cancer research makes progress possible – and donors make the research possible. Thanks to our donors, last year we invested $40 million in excellent research across the country. But there were many more worthy research projects that we could not fund. Imagine how much progress we could make if we funded them all.

Cancer truly does affect all of us in one way or another. “Cancer changes everything,” says Cathy.

Read our 2017 Canadian Cancer Statistics report and help us do more.