Canadian Cancer Society




Cancer facts and statistics

  • Cancer isn’t just one disease. It is more than 100 diseases, many of which are divided into several sub-types.
  • Cancer is a disease that mostly affects Canadians aged 50 and older, but it can occur at any age.
  • Lung, breast, colorectal and prostate cancer are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer).
  • Nearly 1 in 2 Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 4 will die of the disease
  • In 2017, it is estimated that 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer and sadly 80,800 will die from cancer.
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and is responsible for 30% of all deaths.
  • In spite of these daunting statistics, progress is being made in the fight against cancer. The overall cancer survival rate has increased from about 25% in the 1940s to at least 60% today. For some cancers, like thyroid and testicular, the survival rate is over 90%.We are also close to turning others into manageable diseases, making cancer a disease that you live with, not die from.



Cancer prevention messaging

About half of all cancers can be prevented through healthy living and policies that protect the health of Canadians. But more needs to be done to inform people about how their lifestyle choices can affect cancer risk and engage them to take action. It’s My Life! is our online tool that provides cancer prevention information in an interactive and refreshing way.


To stop cancer before it starts, we encourage you to share this tool with your audiences so that they can learn how to take action on 16 lifestyle factors that reduce their risk of cancer.



About the Canadian Cancer Society (boilerplate for media releases)

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is to eradicate cancer and enhance the quality of life of people living with cancer. Thanks to our donors and volunteers, CCS has the most impact, against the most cancers, in the most communities in Canada. For more information, visit or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).



Our work at the Canadian Cancer Society

Beyond awareness, the Canadian Cancer Society is taking action against 100+ cancers by:

  • Funding high-quality cancer research
  • Educating Canadians about cancer prevention, screening and early detection
  • Providing information and support services to those living with cancer and their families
  • Taking a stand on important cancer issues and influencing government to pass public policies aimed at preventing cancer and helping people living with cancer


Due to our aging and growing population, the number of cancer cases in Canada is expected to jump dramatically by 2030. This will mean that more of our family and friends will hear the words “you have cancer”. We are counting on our corporate partners and donors to ensure that we can meet the surging demand for the work we do.