Almost half of Canadians to develop cancer in their lifetimes: Cancer Society

Since the peak in the cancer death rate in Canada in 1988, it is estimated that over 179,000 deaths have been avoided as a result of cancer prevention and control efforts, the report said.

In Saskatchewan, 2,400 people are expected to die from the disease this year, and an estimated 5,600 people will be diagnosed. The most common malignancies are prostate, breast, lung and colorectal.

Cancer continues to be the leading cause of death in Canada. Six years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, she is here, at the Cancer Survivors' Park in Ottawa's east end to share her journey and that of her family.

When she was a child, an aunt died of breast cancer.

"We all need to play a role because it affects everyone".

The good news, Smith says, is that many cancers can be prevented.

"We're very pleased about the HPV vaccination program; we were one of the last provinces in the country to announce that", said Pasiechnik.

"Cancer is a very complicated disease", Beaulieu said. She said there has been progress at municipal levels, as seen with the smoking bylaw recently passed in Regina, but more needs to be done at the provincial level.

A new study released Tuesday estimated that 18,600 Albertans will be diagnosed with cancer this year - part of a cross-Canada rise in new cases as the country grapples with an aging population.

The Canadian Cancer Society offers services for cancer patients in Manitoba, inclduing offering rides to and from treatment, and they help over 30 thousand Manitobans cope with their diagnosis through the Cancer Society's CancerConnection program.

"Currently, every year we're seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases in Canada", said the society's epidemiologist, Leah Smith. But the buck doesn't stop there.

A new report by the Canadian Cancer Society predicts that nearly one in every two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die from the disease.

About the same time, three uncles succumbed to lung cancer, mostly due to smoking, and then her father developed fatal colon cancer.

"It's mainly a disease of older people", said Pasiechnik. "About 90 per cent of all the cancers that we expect to be diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older".

With an eight per cent five-year survival rate, the gastrointestinal cancer has the poorest prognosis of the 23 malignancies the Canadian Cancer Society reports on.

On a more positive note, the number of new cancer cases per 100,000 people continues to decline, while the number of people surviving the disease is also improving.

Pasiechnik said 60 per cent of the Cancer Society's high-priority projects are now unfunded, and encourages people to donate money or volunteer.

  • Joanne Flowers