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Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016


The Government of Canada recognizes that cancer is a major health issue for Canadians.

The 2016 Canadian Cancer Statistics report provides detailed information on cancer incidence, mortality and other statistics for the most common types of cancer in Canada and in the provinces and territories.  This information is based on cancer surveillance data from the Canadian Cancer Registry, which is a dynamic database housed and maintained by Statistics Canada that contains records of all new cases of cancer diagnosed in Canada.

The Public Health Agency of Canada is pleased to collaborate with the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada and other partners to produce Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016.

A full copy of the report is available on the Canadian Cancer Society Website.

About the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016

Canadian Cancer Statistics is part of an annual series that began in 1987 and has been developed by members of the Steering Committee on Cancer Statistics, which is supported by the Canadian Cancer Society. The Steering Committee is responsible for developing content, reviewing statistical information, interpreting data and writing text. The Steering Committee includes individuals from the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, the Canadian Council of Cancer Registries, as well as researchers based in universities and provincial or territorial cancer agencies.

Highlights of what you will find in the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2016 annual report:

Cancer remains a major cause of death

  • In 2016, Canada will continue to see an increase in the number of individuals diagnosed with cancer.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada, with the number of new cases expected to increase mainly due to population growth and aging.
  • In 2016, an estimated 202,400 new cases of cancer (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) will be diagnosed in Canada and 78,800 cancer deaths will occur.
  • Half of all cancer deaths in Canada are due to lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancers.
  • Incidence and mortality rates for men surpass those for women at around age 55.

Cancer is predominately seen in those 50 and over

  • The rate of new cases increases with age, particularly in Canadian 50 years and older.
  • Overall, 89% of new cases and 96% of deaths occur among those aged 50 and over.
  • The highest proportion of cancer deaths will occur in Canadians 80 years and older (34.1%).

Cancer death rates declining in Canada

  • Overall age-standardized cancer mortality rates are declining in Canada. Cancer death rates have been declining since 1988 among men, and since the mid-1990s among women.
  • In particular, death rates from lung (in men), colorectal, prostate, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, stomach, and larynx cancers have decreased.
  • In addtion in women, death rates have decreased notably from breast and ovary cancers.
  • Cancer mortality increased notably for liver cancer (both sexes) and uterine cancers.

Incidence rates in some cancers still rising

  • Between 2001 and 2010, the overall age-standardized cancer incidence rates have decreased -0.6% per year for males and increased 0.5% per year for females.
  • In particular, the incidence rate of melanoma, liver and thyroid cancers are rising in both men and women, as is esophageal cancer among men and uterine cancers among women.
  • The incidence rate of larynx cancer is notably decreasing in men and women, as is stomach cancer in men.

For a full PDF version of the 2016 annual report visit the Canadian Cancer Society Website.