A new report by the Canadian Cancer Society has predicted that almost one in every two Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die from the disease. 1
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In their annual cancer statistics report released last week, the organization said that in 2017, an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and an estimated 80,800 will die. This will make cancer the leading cause of death in Canada. (A large number of those cases are a reflection of the growing and aging population with about 90 percent of all the cancers to be diagnosed in 2017 “among Canadians 50 years of age and older.”2)
And yet, despite the dire projection that cancer will cause the deaths of one in four Canadians, cancer mortality rates have been declining since 1988; in the last three decades, deaths due to cancer have fallen by more than 30 percent among men and around 17 percent among women.
“Still, four cancers — prostate, breast, lung and colorectal — continue to top the list of the most common malignancies, which together are expected to account for more than half the cancer diagnoses in 2017. Lung cancer continues to take a huge toll: more people are predicted to die of the disease this year (21,100) than from a combination of the other three cancers (19,200 in total).” 3
However, in spite of all this good news, that’s not the case for pancreatic cancer: those diagnosed have only an eight percent, five-year survival rate.
The Canadian Cancer Society reports that gastrointestinal cancer has the poorest prognosis of 23 they report on and that this year alone, an estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and 4,800 will die of the disease (likely because tumors don’t typically cause symptoms until they are at an advanced stage.)
Much more research into the causes of pancreatic cancer is needed so that we could find tumors when they’re small and more treatable.