May 27, 2015 3:05 am
Updated: May 27, 2015 7:00 pm

Cancer cases slated to climb 40 per cent by 2030, Canadian report warns

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WATCH: There’s been a blunt assessment about where cancer rates are heading in Canada. As many as 40 per cent more cases are predicted by 2030. Mike Drolet explains.

The number of cancer diagnoses in Canada is slated to steadily climb by 40 per cent in the next 15 years, according to a new report released Wednesday morning.

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The Canadian Cancer Society says that by 2030, 277,000 people will be diagnosed with cancer each year. The sheer rise in cases is due to an aging and growing population. Prostate and colorectal cancers will see the biggest upsurge.

“This is the result of changing demographics in Canada. Canadians are living longer, aging and growing in numbers – that’s going to have a significant impact on the number of people diagnosed with cancer in the future,” Dr. Robert Nuttall, assistant director of cancer control policy at the society, told Global News.

“We want [this report] to be a wake-up call for people to start planning now,” he said.

READ MORE: New Canadian guidelines for doctors, young women with breast cancer

Health officials and governments can plan for this rise in cases the report is projecting, it says. Everyday Canadians can also take initiative by getting screened for breast, cervical and prostate cancers, for example. They can control risk factors, such as smoking, diet and exercise and exposure to sun.

This is the society’s first annual report to zero in on long-term cancer predictions. Nuttall says a handful of variables came together in the estimates.

By 2030, there will be about 10 million more people living in Canada – a 30 per cent increase from 2005. One in four Canadians will be 65 or older, too. The country will see a demand in old age care and other resources.

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Overall, the incidence rates of cancer will remain steady. For men, rates will dip slightly while they’ll increase for women.

The cancer society is calling for education and training for medical specialists, such as oncologists, family doctors, nurses and personal support workers. It also suggests that infrastructure – from diagnostics to treatment facilities and cancer care centres, needs to expand.

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Canadians can also do their part in monitoring their health. The society provides these examples:

  • If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. It’s estimated that smoking is responsible for 30 per cent of all cancer deaths in Canada and is related to more than 85 per cent of lung cancer cases.
  • Get screened. If you’re in a certain age or population group, there are screening tests to help find breast, cervical and colorectal cancer before you’ve even noticed symptoms.
  • Get vaccinated against HPV. This virus is linked with cervical cancer as well as cancers of the penis, anus, vulva, vagina, oral cavity and throat.
  • Eat well and be active. About one-third of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight.
  • Practice sun safety and don’t use indoor tanning. Melanoma is the deadliest skin cancer and is mostly preventable.

carmen.chai@globalnews.ca

© 2015 Shaw Media

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