Based on an estimate from the Canadian Cancer Society, 5,900 people are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in Saskatchewan this year.
The advocacy group released their latest report on nationwide cancer statistics on Sept. 4.
Overall instances of cancer are increasing, but it’s not all bad news. The report shows five-year cancer survival rates are trending upwards.
“Survival for blood cancers have improved more than any other cancer,” said Heather Monus, Canadian Cancer Society program director at the organization’s Regina office.
“The survival rates of blood cancer have improved 16 to 19 per cent since the early 1990s.”
In Saskatchewan, for instance, the five-year survival rate for non-Hodgkins lymphoma is now 68 per cent. Nationwide, it was 49 per cent in the 1990s.
The top four cancers in the province are breast (89 per cent survival), prostate (90 per cent survival), colorectal (63 per cent survival) and lung (16 per cent survival) according to Monus, making up 48 per cent of cases. This is in line with the rest of Canada.
Lung cancer continues to be the most commonly-diagnosed cancer in Saskatchewan and nationwide.
An October 2018 report from the cancer society found Saskatchewan teens are nearly three times more likely to report tobacco use than their peers across the country — 22 per cent compared to 8 per cent.
“Smoking is still something that we certainly know is harmful and leads to cancer,” Monus said.
Curiously, the report shows that cancer rates tend to decline the farther west in Canada you go, with the Maritimes and Ontario being higher and British Columbia being the lowest. Data for Quebec was not available in the report.
“There’s quite a bit about cancer that can be prevented, so they’re believing that some of those differences could be due to lifestyle across the country,” Monus said.
“So things like not smoking, carrying excess weight is a risk factor, physical inactivity is a risk factor and things associated with diet like low fruits and vegetables.”
WATCH: Blood cancer survival rates