Blog dedicated primarily to randomly selected news items; comments reflecting personal perceptions

Saturday, June 24, 2017

On The Cancer Front....

"Currently, every year we're seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases in Canada. So between now and 2030, for example, we expect to continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of cancers diagnosed in Canada."
"That is a reflection of the growing and aging population. About 90  percent of all the cancers that we expect to be diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older."
"Declines in death rates have been largely driven by decreases in lung cancer incidence and mortality. So tobacco control in general has had a big impact on our death rates."
Leah Smith, epidemiologist, Canadian Cancer Society
Canadian Cancer Society logo

Four cancers -- prostate, breast, lung and colorectal -- remain top of the list reflecting the most common cancer malignancies to strike Canadians. Those four types of cancer account for over half of the diagnoses of cancer and the trend continues into 2017. More people are expected to die of lung cancer than any other cancer, an anticipated number of 21,100 for 2017, representing more deaths from one cancer alone than the other three top-listed cancers in combination (19,200).

Approximately 45 percent of newly diagnosed cases occur in that segment of the population aged 70 and older, according to Ms. Smith. As greater numbers of the population age, so does the number of diagnoses of cancer rise. Cancer is projected to cause death to roughly one in four Canadians. Yet mortality rates have been steadily declining from the time in 1988 when deaths due to cancer were at their peak.

That decline is largely attributable to screening for cancer performed at an increased rate, along with improved treatment, adding up to larger survival rates among women. There are not many families who have missed an acquaintanceship with this dread disease, either from one close, or a number of distant members being diagnosed. And some unfortunate families have been deluged with an incidence of diagnoses that seems to hit just about everyone in the family.

In one family alone an aunt died of breast cancer, and when her niece became a new mother her husband developed osteosarcoma requiring a bone transplant and "dramatic" bouts of chemotherapy. Three uncles then succumbed to lung cancer as a result of lifelong smoking habits. And then the woman's father developed fatal colon cancer. After which her brother was diagnosed with skin cancer. The woman herself was diagnosed then with breast cancer. And then her mother had a soft-tissue sarcoma, dying two years after diagnoses.

Still, survival rates are increasing for some cancers in particular, quite dramatically. Of Canadians diagnosed and treated for cancer, some 60 percent will survive five years or longer. With the exception of pancreatic cancer which has an eight percent, five-year survival rate, representing the most negative prognosis of the 23 malignancies reported on by the Canadian Cancer Society. An estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas, of whom 4,800 will die of the disease.

It is estimated that in 2017:
  • 103,100 Canadian men will be diagnosed with cancer and 42,600 men will die from cancer.
  • 103,200 Canadian women will be diagnosed with cancer and 38,200 women will die from cancer.
  • On average, 565 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer every day.
  • On average, 221 Canadians will die from cancer every day.
Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most common types of cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer). Based on 2017 estimates:
  • These cancers account for half (50%) of all new cancer cases.
  • Prostate cancer accounts for about one-fifth (21%) of all new cancer cases in men.
  • Lung cancer accounts for 14% of all new cases of cancer.
  • Breast cancer accounts for about one-quarter (25%) of all new cancer cases in women.
  • Colorectal cancer accounts for 13% of all new cancer cases.  Canadian Cancer Society logo

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