Report reveals lung cancer death rates declining faster than other cancer types in Canada

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November 08, 2023

Data show between 2015 and 2020, lung cancer death rates decreased by 3.8% per year. This represents the largest annual decline in mortality rates across all cancer types reported and the fastest decline in lung cancer mortality reported to date in Canada. The most significant reason that lung cancer death rates are improving is due to a reduction in commercial tobacco use. Despite this progress, lung cancer is still expected to be the most diagnosed cancer in Canada, with an estimated 31,000 cases in 2023. Other findings include:

  • Probability of developing cancer over a lifetime is 45% and similar for males and females;
  • In males, the largest decreases in cancer incidence were for: colorectal (4% per year since 2014), lung (2.6% per year since 2012), leukemia (2.0% per year since 2011). In females, the largest decreases in incidence were for: colorectal (3.1% per year since 2014), thyroid (2.6% per year since 2012), ovarian (2.6% per year since 2014);
  • The largest significant increase in incidence in males was for melanoma (2.2% per year since 1984), while among females, cervical cancer is now the fastest increasing cancer (3.7% per year since 2015); and
  • About one in four Canadians are expected to die from cancer.
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