19 Manitobans diagnosed with cancer every day: report
Around 6,800 Manitobans will be diagnosed with cancer this year, and an estimated 2,800 will die from the disease, according to new statistics from the Canadian Cancer Society.
In a report released Wednesday, the organization said out of all the newly diagnosed cancers across the province, half will be from prostate, breast, lung and colorectal cancers. The number of cancer diagnoses is also one the rise — up 100 cases from 2015.
The highest number of new cancer cases will occur in people aged 60-69, while the highest number of deaths from cancer is expected in those aged 80 and older, the report said.
Erin Crawford from the Canadian Cancer Society, said a lot of progress has been made with some cancers over the years.
“The breast cancer survival rate has increased enormously,” Crawford told 680 CJOB.
“It’s a good news story in terms of where the treatments have really gone and where the research has gone. Lung cancer on the other hand is really not doing as well. It has a survival rate of 17 per cent right now compared to breast cancer at 87 per cent.”
Nationally, more than 200,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year.
The death rate for all cancers combined is higher in Manitoba than the national average. The report said this is mainly due to a higher rate of prostate and colorectal cancers in men and breast and lung cancers in women.
There will be around 880 new cases of breast cancer among Manitoba women this year. According to the report, 190 of these women will die from the disease, which is down from 200 women in 2015.
Although breast cancer continues to be the most common type of cancer for women in Manitoba (and Canada), the numbers are declining. The death rate for breast cancer has gone down 44 per cent since 1987. Since 2003, it’s declined around 2.6 per cent a year, thanks to better screening and improved treatment, the report said.
In Manitoba, an estimated 710 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. Around 190 of these men will die of the disease, which is up from 180 men in 2015.
Prostate cancer continues to be the most common type of cancer in Manitoba men (and across Canada). However, both the incident rate and death rates have been declining. The death rate has been dropping by 3.1 per cent a year since 2003, which reflects improved treatments for the disease, the report said.
In terms of national numbers, prostate cancer mortality rates are higher in Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Newfoundland and Labrador. The highest survival for prostate cancer is in Ontario (96 per cent); and the lowest rate is in Manitoba (89 per cent).
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death among men and women in Manitoba and across Canada. The report said the disease takes the lives of more Canadians than breast, prostate and colorectal cancers combined.
However, the incidence of lung cancer across the country is on the decline.
“It has been on the decline among men since the late 1980s but just recently levelled off among women,” the report said. “The difference reflects the drop in smoking rates that began in men in the early 1960s but did not start among women until the 1980s.”
In Manitoba, more women will be diagnosed with lung cancer than men. In total, 920 new cases will be diagnosed this year (890 last year) and 680 people will die of lung cancer, which is down from 710 people in 2015.
Both the national incident rate and death rate for colorectal cancer are declining. The death rate has been declining by about 2.1 per cent a year since 2003. This is due to improved treatment and earlier detection because more people are participating in screening programs, the report said.
In Manitoba, an estimated 970 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year and 350 people will die of the disease, which is up from 340 people in 2015.
HPV-linked cancer on the rise
Across Canada, the incidence of HPV-related mouth and throat cancers jumped 56 per cent in males and 17 per cent in females between 1992 and 2012, according to the report.
An estimated 1,335 Canadian men and women were diagnosed with HPV-linked “oropharyngeal” cancers in 2012, and 372 died from the malignancies. They now represent about one-third of all HPV cancers in Canada, equal to the proportion of cervical cancer cases, said Leah Smith, the Canadian Cancer Society epidemiologist who helped author the report.
Human papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted infection worldwide. Most sexually active men and women become infected with HPV at some point during their lifetime. Most people clear the virus in about two years, but in a small proportion of those infected, the virus persists and can later cause cancer.
This year, almost 4,400 Canadian men and women will be diagnosed with an HPV cancer, including cervical, genital and anal cancers, and about 1,200 will die from their disease.
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“HPV is a virus that infects moist skin, namely oral and genital mucosa,” said Dr. Eduardo Franco, head of oncology at McGill University in Montreal and a world-renowned expert on the pathogen. “The oral cavity is particularly susceptible, the tissue around the tonsils and the base of the tongue.”
The good news is that HPV can be easily prevented.
In Manitoba, the HPV vaccine is available to all Grade 6 students through a publicly funded program. However, only 46 per cent of the eligible students receive the required three treatments. That compares to a 76 per cent vaccination rate in Alberta.
— With files from the Canadian Press
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