The Canadian Cancer Society issued a press release yesterday stating that almost one out of every two Canadians (49% of men and 45% of women) will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. On top of that, one out of every four will perish from that malignancy.
Those are very sobering statistics. The number of cancer deaths each year is on the rise and the disease is now the leading cause of death in Canada.
The cancer society “emphasizes that the rise in cancer cases is primarily being driven by an aging and growing population…an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and almost 90% of these cases will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older. As more people live into old age, the number of cancer cases will continue to rise.” About 90% of all cancer cases in 2017 will occur among people 50 and over.
The scourge of pancreatic cancer continues. Only 8% of those afflicted survive the disease, which will soon be the third largest cause of death among Canadians.
Is there a silver lining? It doesn’t seem like one is obvious beyond the fact that about half of all cancers are preventable.
However, as depressing as this news sounds, it is important to remember how far along we have come:
- In the 1940s, the survival rate for cancer was 25%; it is now 60%.
- Certain cancers, like thyroid and testicular, now have a five-year net survival of over 90%.
- The CCS continues to aggressively target cancer and invested $40 million into cancer research in 2016.
You can do your part by financially supporting cancer research and living a healthy lifestyle that includes daily exercise, a proper diet, and regular cancer screenings.
Cancer will touch our lives in one way or another, but you can help to reduce the suffering. Take the time to do the right thing for both yourself and your fellow Canadians.