The number of people living with cancer or surviving cancer in Canada has risen to 1.5 million.
The prevalence of cancer is “both a cause for optimism and concern,” according to a new report released Tuesday by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS).
Ten years ago, the prevalence figure was estimated at one million, which means that more people are surviving today, but also more people are getting cancer.
Data from 2018 indicates that an estimated 1.5 million people currently living in Canada have been diagnosed with cancer at some point in the last 25 years. Almost 60 percent of them were diagnosed between five and 25 years ago – showing that the majority lived with or after cancer for a long time.
“Investments in research pay off in the form of better methods of early detection and more effective treatments, and as a result we are now seeing more people surviving cancer and living longer with and beyond the disease,” Dr. Jennifer Gillis, the senior manager of surveillance at CCS said in a press release issued on Tuesday. “We have accomplished much to celebrate together, but this new data also shows that our work is far from over.”
Statistics show that in 2012 about 193,000 people were diagnosed with cancer, while the number of people diagnosed with cancer jumped to 206,000 in 2017. The report estimates that at least 233,900 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022.
Canada’s growing and aging population have been highlighted as two factors in the growth in cancer incidence.
“The increasing prevalence – more people being diagnosed and more surviving – is a long-term strain on our healthcare system and underscores why we must work together to create a system that can evolve as patient needs evolve from diagnosis to survival or end of life.” develop care,” Gillis said.
According to the report, the pandemic has caused delays and disrupted care for many cancer patients, which can result in late-stage diagnoses.
“Timely and accurate data on cancer prevalence in Canada is critical to understanding the impact of the disease on society and our healthcare system. Data is invaluable for assessing the impact of cancer, measuring how far we’ve come and identifying areas for improvement,” said Jeff Latimer, Director General of Statistics Canada’s Health Statistics Branch.
The data collected for the cancer report included that the proportion of two-year prevalence was higher among people living in rural areas than in urban areas, and that the relationship between income and prevalence differed by cancer type.
For example, people in higher-income neighborhoods had higher prevalences of breast and prostate cancer, while people in lower-income neighborhoods had higher rates of colon and lung cancer.
And over the past 25 years, the proportion of cases diagnosed has been higher in the eastern Canadian provinces than in central and western Canada.