March 18, 2009

More Canadians living with cancer

The number of Canadians living with cancer is rising with the percentage higher in women than in men before age 60, government official said.

However, the percentage of Canadians living with a diagnosis of cancer in men surpassed that for women at age 60 and older -- mostly because of prostate cancer in men.

Statistics Canada reported the prevalence of most cancers increased with age -- exceptions were testicular cancer among men, cervical and thyroid cancer among women and Hodgkin lymphoma and brain cancer among both sexes, Health Reports said.

Cervical cancer and cancer of the thyroid were most common in women in the 40-to-49 age group. Both of these cancers decline at older ages, the report said.

The 695,000 people who had been diagnosed with cancer during 1995-2005 represented 2.2 percent of the Canadian population, or about 1 in 46 people. Overall, 1 in 111 women had been diagnosed with breast cancer and 1 in 118 men had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Twenty percent of all cancer cases were breast cancer, 18.7 percent were prostate cancer, 12.9 percent were colorectal cancer, 5.1 percent were bladder cancer, 4.1 percent were non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 4.1 percent were melanoma.