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British Columbia Leads Battle in Cancer Fight - BC Disability News

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-05-19 - With some of the lowest death and incidence rates for cancers British Columbia is leading Canada in the battle against cancer - Canadian Cancer Society (BC and Yukon Division).

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With some of the lowest death and incidence rates for cancers, British Columbia is leading Canada in the battle against cancer.

The statistics are found in the 2010 Canadian Cancer Statistics, released today by the Canadian Cancer Society.

"British Columbians lead the way because of our lifestyle habits - we have lower tobacco and obesity rates and higher physical activity rates - and this is paying off in lower cancer rates," says Kathryn Seely, Public Issues Manager, Canadian Cancer Society, B.C. and Yukon. "Steadily, we continue to make significant progress in the fight against cancer, however more needs to be done. Through advancements in research we know that 50 per cent of cancers can be prevented."

The 2010 Cancer Statistics also reveal the death and incidence rates for the majority of cancer types have declined or stabilized during the past decade. In B.C. this year, there will be an estimated 21,600 new cases and an estimated 9,500 new deaths due to cancer. In Canada, it is estimated 173,000 new cases of cancer and 76,200 deaths will occur.

Prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers continue to be the most prevalent cancers in men and women in B.C. and in Canada. In 2010, these four cancers will account for 53.7 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in B.C. and 54.4 per cent of all cancers diagnosed in Canada.

"Prostate and breast cancer still remain the most common cancers in men and women," says Seely. "The good news is that although the number of new cases for both prostate and breast cancer remain high, the estimated number of deaths for both is considerably lower. More people are surviving these two cancers and is a direct result of progress we have made."

Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer death for both men and women even though it is the second most common cancer in both sexes. Twenty-seven per cent of all cancer deaths will be attributed to lung cancer in Canada and 26.3 per cent of all cancer deaths will be attributed to lung cancer in B.C.

Even though lung cancer incidence and mortality rates are lowest in B.C., double the number of men and women will die from lung cancer (2,500) than those who will die from breast and prostate (1,210) combined.

"B.C. has the lowest smoking rates in the country, however we continue to see higher incidence and death rates for lung cancer among women," says Seely. "The difference between male and female lung cancer rates reflects the drop in smoking that began for males in the mid-1960's and much later - in the mid-1980's for females."

Colorectal cancer in men and women continues to be the third most common cancer and accounts for 11.9 per cent of all cancer deaths in Canada with an estimated 9,100 deaths. In B.C., Colorectal cancer accounts for 11.5 per cent of cancer deaths with an estimated 1,090 deaths.

The 2010 Canadian Cancer Statistics also reveal that for men, there are significant drops in both death and incidence rates for stomach and lung cancer. For women, there are significant decreases in incidence of cancer of the larynx, and drops in death rates for cervical and stomach cancers.

Canadian Cancer Statistics 2010 is prepared, printed and distributed through a collaboration of the Canadian Cancer Society, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Statistics Canada, provincial and territorial cancer registries, as well as researchers based in universities and provincial or territorial cancer agencies.

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