Lung cancer in Canada
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Lung cancer develops in the cells of the lungs. Changes in these cells may lead to benign tumours (non-cancerous), but when cells no longer behave normally, they may cause malignant tumours (cancerous). Cancer starting in the lung cells is known as primary lung cancer. Cancers that start in other parts of the body and spread to the lungs are known as lung metastases.
The data Footnote 1,Footnote 2
- Lung cancer is the most common cancer in Canada
- 98% of cases occur in adults aged 50+
- About 29,800 Canadians will have been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2020
- 1 in 14 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
- 1 in 15 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime
Risk factors includeFootnote *
- Smoking tobacco
- Exposure to second-hand smoke
- Exposure to radon gas
- Exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens
- Air pollution
Screening and detection Footnote 2,Footnote 3
- 50% of all lung cancer cases are diagnosed late at Stage IV
- The probability of surviving lung cancer at least five years after diagnosis is about 19% in Canada
Screening for lung cancer is recommended for high risk Canadians aged 55 to 74.
The screening guidelines above are available from the Canadian Task Force on Preventive Health Care.
Statistics for lifetime probability, stage and survival exclude Quebec. Stage statistics include individuals aged 18 to 79 years at diagnosis and survival statistics include individuals aged 15 to 99 years at diagnosis. Unless specified, statistics include all stages combined.
Learn more about lung cancer:
- Footnote *
For more information, please visit: https://data.prevent.cancer.ca/current
- Footnote 1
Brenner DR, Weir HK, Demers AA, Ellison LF, Louzado C, Shaw A, et al. Projected estimates of cancer in Canada in 2020. CMAJ. 2020 March 2;192:E199-205. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1503/cmaj.191292.
- Footnote 2
Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2019. Available at: cancer.ca/Canadian-Cancer-Statistics-2019-EN.
- Footnote 3
Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2018. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2018. Available at: cancer.ca/Canadian-Cancer-Statistics-2018-EN.
© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, as represented by the Minister of Health, 2020 | Cat.: HP35-83/3-2020E-PDF | ISBN: 978-0-660-35271-8 | Pub.: 200099
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