Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians expected to get cancer

20 June 2017

Imagine you're sitting beside someone on the bus, or next to your partner on the couch, or having dinner with a friend. Now imagine what it would be like if one of you had cancer. That’s the reality we face today. Nearly half of Canadians are expected to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and 1 in 4 Canadians is expected to die of it.

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Sarah Metcalfe

One family's story

Sarah Metcalfe, 58, has been touched by cancer far too many times. With 8 family members having received cancer diagnoses, including her aunts, uncles, both parents and husband, Sarah was still stunned in 2011 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

For our family, all our cancers have been unrelated, not hereditary. But the good news is that I’m seeing so much progress against the disease.

The good news is we can do something about it. About half of all cancers can be prevented and research continues to improve the outlook for people with cancer.

And we have made great progress over time. Because of investments in cancer control, including prevention, early detection and treatment, the overall cancer survival rate has increased from about 25% in the 1940s to 60% today.

But we have a long way to go and we need to invest in more research. Last year, 60% of high-priority research projects went unfunded. Imagine the impact we could have if we were able to fund 100%.

Stats infographic 

Learn More

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017 was released on June 20. This annual publication gives detailed statistics for the most common types of cancer.


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