According to the Canadian Cancer Society Advisory Committee on Cancer
Statistics, Canadian Statistics 2015, one out of every four Canadians will die of some form of cancer in their lifetime.
Research in 2009 showed that about 2.4 per cent of the Canadian population or 1 out of every 41 Canadians was living with cancer: in 2009, about 810,045 Canadians diagnosed with cancer in the previous 10 years were alive.
It’s estimated that by the end of 2015 196,900 Canadians will have developed some sort of cancer and 78,000 will have died of cancer.
Estimates from 2010 statistics show that two out of five Canadians (45 per cent of men and 42 per cent of women) are expected to develop cancer during their lifetimes and that one out of four Canadians (29 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women) is expected to die from cancer.
Those statistics are staggering.
The Canadian cancer statistics show that cancer of the lung, breast, colorectal and prostate account for over half (51%) of all new cancer cases.
However, lung cancer is the leading cause of more deaths in Canada than the other three cancer types combined. Smoking is one of the main causes of lung cancer – but it’s also responsible for 30 per cent of all cancers.
One third of cancers can be linked to diet, obesity and the lack of exercise. Further Canadian statistics show that 89 percent of Canadians developing cancer will be over the age of 50.
However, cancer attacks at any age. The Canadian Cancer Society Advisory Committee’s statistics showed that in 2011 cancer was the leading cause of death in children under the age of 15.
The good news is the statistics also show that a healthy lifestyle can help prevent cancer.
The Canadian Cancer Society and the American Institute For Cancer Research both identify the following ways to reduce the risk of cancer:
1. Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. Tobacco smoking is an established risk for 18 different forms of cancer, and is responsible for one quarter of deaths worldwide, making it the greatest avoidable risk factor for cancer.
2. Follow good health practices. Eating a diet of vegetables, fruit and fibre, low on red meats and processed meats. Maintaining a healthy body weight and being physically active can prevent about 1/3 of the 12 major cancers worldwide. (American Institute For Cancer Research and World Cancer Research.)
3. Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a risk factor for many different cancers. The less you drink, the more you reduce your risk.
4. Avoid overexposure to sunlight and stay away from sunlight and tanning beds. According to Cancer Research, indoor tanning does not provide a safe alternative to the sun and should be avoided.
Cancer peaked in 1988, but with cancer research it has seen a decline since then, with the exception of liver cancer. According to the Centre for Chronic Disease Prevention, in 2015 the Yukon had one of the highest overall cancer rates across Canada at 237.4 per 100,000, with 85 deaths.