Research

Cancer statistics

Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetime. Approximately 1 in 4 Canadians is expected to die of the disease, making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada.

Cancer statistics tell us how many people in Canada are diagnosed with and die from cancer each year. They show us the trends in new cancer cases and cancer deaths. Cancer statistics also tell us the likelihood of surviving a cancer diagnosis and the percentage of people who are alive years after a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer surveillance is the regular collection and analysis of cancer data to generate statistics on the burden of cancer. It includes monitoring new cancer cases, deaths, survival and prevalence, as well as monitoring how these measures change over time. It is a fundamental part of understanding and evaluating cancer control efforts.

We’ve made significant progress in reducing cancer incidence and mortality. Today, we know more than ever before about what causes cancer, how it develops and how best to prevent and treat it. Despite the progress we’ve made, the number of new cancer cases continues to increase as a result of the growing and aging population. Between 2015 and 2030, the number of new cancer cases diagnosed is expected to increase by about 40%.

Cancer poses an enormous burden on both the health of Canadians and the healthcare system. Statistics are an important part of healthcare planning and measuring the success of cancer control.

A cover photo of the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2020 special report on lung cancer

Canadian Cancer Statistics

The Canadian Cancer Statistics products provide health professionals, researchers, policy-makers and the general public with the most up-to-date statistics on cancer in Canada. They are developed by the Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee in collaboration with the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada with data provided by the provincial and territorial cancer registries.

A cover photo of the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2020 special report on lung cancer

Cancer statistics at a glance

These statistics give a general overview of cancer in Canada including incidence, mortality, trends in cancer rates, probability of developing or dying from cancer and survival rates.

10 people stand in front of a Canadian flag and cityscape holding hands

Cancer statistics infographics

These infographics present key findings from Canadian Cancer Statistics products and provide a comprehensive picture of cancer in Canada.

10 people stand in front of a Canadian flag and cityscape holding hands

How many cancers are due to modifiable risk factors?  

We know more than ever before about what increases cancer risk and how to reduce the burden of modifiable risk factors in Canada. Two CCS-funded studies have added to our knowledge on lifestyle, environmental, occupational and infectious agent risk factor impact on cancer in Canada.

Occupation statistics

The Burden of Occupational Cancer study estimates the burden of cancer due to occupational exposures in Canada. The study looks at the 13 work-related risk factors that contribute the most to the occupational cancer burden in Canada. They include asbestos, UV radiation from the sun, second-hand smoke and night shift work.

Prevention statistics

The Canadian Population Attributable Risk of Cancer (ComPARe) study estimates the number and percentage of cancers caused by more than 20 lifestyle, environmental and infectious agent risk factors. The study also provides estimates of how changes in the prevalence of these risk factors could impact cancer incidence in the future by 2042.

Are you a cancer stats whiz?