André Beaulieu, Canadian Cancer Society's spokesperson and Mei-Lin Yee, a women who survived a mestatasic breast cancer are available for interviews
MONTREAL, May 27, 2015 /CNW/ - The number of new cancer cases will rise at least 35% (nearly 40% nationally) in the next 15 years, according to a new report – Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015 – released by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in collaboration with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada. In 2030, 67,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer in Quebec, compared to 50,000 this year (277,000 Canadians vs. 200,000 this year).
"Such a dramatic rise in the number of cancer cases will have major repercussions on our healthcare system. The Canadian Cancer Society is very concerned about whether Quebec will be ready to face this new cancer reality. The government must prioritize the fight against cancer in the coming years, and everybody in the public, charitable and private sectors must be a part of it, including academic researchers, decision-makers and citizens," says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director, CCS – Quebec Division. "The report released this morning is clear: we must be prepared."
The CCS believes that we must start making a concerted effort now to ensure that Quebec has the necessary resources to respond to the looming increase in the number of cancer cases by 2030. "To make sure that it can offer the whole spectrum of cancer-related services to all cancer patients, from screening tests to treatments and from innovative drugs to end-of-life care, the government must now show strong leadership in the fight against cancer," she adds.
Cancer cases on the rise, but the population risk remains stable in the country
There are essentially two main reasons for the surge in cancer cases: Canada's population is growing and aging. So, in 15 years, Quebec's population is expected to increase by a million to around 9.2 million people (on the national level, the population will increase by 6 million). During the same period, the 65+ age group will grow much larger in the country. In 15 years, the number of Quebecers aged 65 and over will double from 1.2 million people now to more than 2.3 million.
However, it's very important to note that despite the rise in the number of cancer cases in sheer numbers, the risk of getting cancer (incidence rate) will not change significantly by 2030. The report released this morning clearly indicates that the incidence rate is going to continue declining among men and increase slightly among women.
Prevention, screening and research
"Without the prevention efforts made in the past few years leading to the decline in smoking and exposure to UV radiation as well as advances in research, the number of cancer cases projected for Quebec in 15 years would have been much higher. Investing in research has allowed us to make tremendous progress against cancer. We know more about the causes of cancer, the way in which it develops, how to treat it and how to enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. On the threshold of other major breakthroughs in cancer therapy, the CCS wants to raise the overall cancer survival rate, which is currently 63%, to 80% by 2030," says Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director, CCS – Quebec Division.
"Over the next 15 years, we're surely going to improve our methods to identify people at risk, detect cancer earlier and treat the disease with greater precision," says Mr. Beaulieu. "This will certainly lead to a better diagnosis for people living with cancer, but to get there, mechanisms to provide Quebecers access to the best medical treatments and drugs that they need will have to be put in place. This access will need to include innovations and targeted therapies, like personalized medicine, a reality currently not being optimized."
It's the first time that the annual Canadian Cancer Statistics report is presenting long-term predictions on the future burden of cancer. In 2030, colorectal cancer will be the second most frequently diagnosed cancer after prostate cancer. So, in the short and medium term, to lower the number of cancer cases in Quebec, the CCS thinks that setting up an organized colorectal screening program must become a priority. "The report shows that 900 colorectal cancer cases could be prevented in Quebec in 2030 and 1,100 lives saved annually if 80% of Quebecers aged 50 to 74 could take a test at home every two years," says André Beaulieu, spokesperson for the CCS – Quebec Division. In figures, this translates into 6,000 cancers prevented and 4,300 lives saved at the national level.
"The report released this morning shows how important it is to emphasize healthy living and policies that protect public health if we want to reduce the number of people with cancer in the long run," adds Mr Beaulieu. "A decline in lung cancer (the deadliest cancer in Quebec) is possible if more Quebecers don't get hooked to cigarettes. For this, we need effective government policies, such as Bill 44, which was recently tabled at the National Assembly and which we hope will be put to the vote soon. Acting now to lower the smoking rate is a measure that will have a great impact both until and beyond 2030."
Other Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015 highlights
- In 2015, it is estimated that there will be 50,100 new cancer cases in Quebec – 196,900 in the country (excluding some 30,000 non-melanoma skin cancer cases - 78,300 across Canada).
- It is predicted that in Quebec cancer will be responsible for 20,900 deaths in 2015 (78,000 in the country).
- Four major cancers (lung, breast, colorectal and prostate) will account for the majority (51%) of newly diagnosed cancers.
- Nearly a third of cancer deaths (31%) will be due to lung cancer (27% in Canada).
- In Canada, nearly all cancer cases (89%) will occur in people aged 50 and over.
- Since 2001, the age-adjusted cancer incidence rate has been declining among men (0.7% per year), but still rising among women (0.5% per year), mainly due to lung cancer.
- The overall cancer death rates in both sexes have been decreasing since 1988.
- Today, 63% of Canadians with cancer survive at least five years after their diagnosis.
About Canadian Cancer Statistics
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015 was prepared through a partnership of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada and provincial and territorial cancer registries. For more information about Canadian Cancer Statistics 2015, visit cancer.ca/statistics.
About the Canadian Cancer Society
With the support of 300,000 donors annually and 30,000 volunteers, the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the Quebec cancer charity that has the greatest potential to save more lives. Each year, some 135,000 turn to it for help. The CCS is doing all it can to increase the overall cancer survival rate, which is currently 63%, to 80% by 2030.
The money raised by the CCS helps:
- prevent more cancers and push for laws that protect public health
- fund more research projects
- support more people living with cancer
Let's save more lives. Visit cancer.ca or call us at 1 888 939-3333.
- This difference can be explained by the fact that the low expected cases of prostate cancer and melanoma in Quebec are likely the result of the registry relying on hospitalization data and missing cancers diagnosed and treated outside the hospitals. Also, the overall population growth until 2030 is forecast to be lower than the Canadian average in Quebec.
- This aging phenomenon is due to the large number of baby boomers who alone account for 2 million Quebecers – 10 million Canadians. In 2030, they will be between 65 and 85 old. Also, Quebec has one of the oldest populations in the world.
- It is estimated that due to better prevention, screening and treatments, 143,000 more deaths were prevented since 1988, when the death rate in Canada was at its peak.
- The FIT (fecal immunochemical test) is a simple, effective and safe tool that can be used at home for the detection of blood in the stools, which could be a sign of cancer. If blood is detected, a colonoscopy is then performed to confirm the diagnosis.
- At the national level, if 80% of Canadians aged 50 and over were screened for colorectal cancer using the stool test, this could lead to 40,000 lives saved over the next 15 years.
- Around half of all cancer cases can be prevented by healthy living and policies that protect the public.
- Smoking alone is responsible for 85% of lung cancers and 30% of all cancers.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society, Quebec Division
For further information: For interview requests: Marie Josée LeBlanc, Canadian Cancer Society -- Quebec Division, 514 255-5151, ext. 2499, [email protected]