Nov 08, 2022

By Jane Brown

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Cancer continues to be a shared experience for many Canadians.

A new report released today by the Canadian Cancer Society shows the number of people living with or having survived cancer in this country continues to grow, to over 1.5 million people.

Ten years ago, the number was estimated to be 1-million.

The report – Canadian Cancer Statistics: A 2022 special report on cancer prevalence – was developed by the Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee in collaboration with CCS, Statistics Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Authors of the report say the higher number is caused by both increased survival and incidence, making it both a reason for optimism and concern.

The report details that at the beginning of 2018, an estimated 1.5 million people alive in Canada had been diagnosed with cancer in the previous 25 years; approximately 60% of whom were diagnosed 5 to 25 years ago. This highlights the high number of people living long-term with or beyond cancer.

In 2012, approximately 193,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in Canada, rising to approximately 206,000 in 2017. Today, it is estimated that 233,900 people will be diagnosed with cancer in 2022. This growth in incidence is largely due to Canada’s growing and aging population and emphasizes the importance of cancer prevention.

Dr. Jennifer Gillis is senior manager of surveillance at the Canadian Cancer Society.

She says investments in research are paying off in the form of better methods of timely detection and more effective treatments.

At the same time, Dr. Gillis says increasing prevalence of cancer creates long term strain on our healthcare system and underlines why we must work together to create a system that can evolve as patients’ needs evolve, from diagnosis through survival or end of life care.

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