Health Fact Sheets
Cancer incidence in Canada, 2013

Release date: March 15, 2016

There were more than 180,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in Canada in 2013. This was an incidence rate of 516.6 cases per 100,000 people.  Although this was a 26.0% increase in the incidence rate from 1992, the year the Canadian Cancer Registry was established, the 2011 age standardized rate, which controls for aging in the population decreased by 3.7% to 506.7 cancers per 100,000 people during the same time period.  Cancer is also the leading cause of death in Canada. Every year more than 70,000 Canadians die from cancer (malignant neoplasms). **

Cancer in Men

In 2013, 91,850 men were diagnosed with cancer. This was an incidence rate of 530.5 cases of cancer for every 100,000 men.

The most frequently diagnosed cancer among males was prostate cancer, which accounted for 21.4% of all new cancer cases diagnosed. This was followed by lung and bronchus (13.8%), colorectal (13.2%), bladder (7.9%) and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (4.7%).  These five cancers accounted for 61.0% of all newly diagnosed cancers in men in 2013.  The five most common cancers among men are unchanged since 1992.

Chart 1 Live births, by sex, Canada, 1992 to 2012
Description for Chart 1
Chart 1 Five most common cancers in males, Canada, 2013
  percent
Prostate 21.4
Lung and Bronchus 13.8
Colorectal 13.2
Bladder 7.9
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 4.7
Source:
Canadian Cancer Registry.

The most frequently diagnosed cancers among men differed by age group. For males under the age of 25, testicular cancer accounted for 15.6% of new cancers in this age group. For men between the ages of 25 and 49, colorectal cancer was the most common and accounted for 11.7% of all new cases in this age group.  Prostate cancer accounted for 23.0% of all newly diagnosed cancers was the most common cancer among men 50 and older. (Table 1)

In 2013, there were several cancers that had a much higher incidence rate among men than women. These included bladder cancers, where men accounted for 76.1% of new cases, liver cancers at 76.9% and esophageal cancers at 76.0%.  For stomach and kidney cancers, men accounted for 64.4% and 63.2% of the new cases respectively.

Cancer in Women

The number of women newly diagnosed with cancer in 2013 was 88,615; an incidence rate of 503.0 cases of cancer for every 100,000 women.

Among females, the most frequently diagnosed cancer was breast cancer, which accounted for 26.2% of all new cancer cases in 2013. This was followed by lung and bronchus (13.2%), colorectal (11.2%), uterine (6.2%) and thyroid (5.1%) cancers. The five most common cancers among women accounted for 61.9% of all newly diagnosed cancers in 2013. This was very similar to the proportion reported for the five most common cancers among men.

Chart 2 Live births, by sex, Canada, 1992 to 2012
Description for Chart 2
Chart 2 Five most common cancers in females, Canada, 2013
  percent
Breast 26.2
Lung and Bronchus 13.2
Colorectal 11.2
Corpus uteri 6.2
Thyroid 5.1
Source:
Canadian Cancer Registry.

The most frequently diagnosed cancers among women differed by age group. For females under the age of 25, thyroid cancer accounted for 14.8% of new cancers followed by acute lymphocytic leukemia (13.3%). Breast cancer was the most common among both women between the ages of 25 and 49 (33.9% of all new cases) and among women 50 years of age and older (25.3% of all new cases).

Cancers diagnosed in women between the ages of 25 and 49 accounted for 64.2% of all newly diagnosed cancers in this age group.  Among men, this age group accounted for 35.8% of newly diagnosed cancers.  The higher proportion for women in this age group was due to the high incidence rates for both breast and thyroid cancers.

Table 1
Rank, number of new cancers and percentage of all cancers for the top five cancersNote 1, by age group, by sex, Canada, 2013
Table summary
This table displays the results of Rank Rank, 0 to 24 years old, 25 to 49 years old and 50 years old and over, calculated using Cancer type, Number, Percentage of all cancers, 5, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 110, 9.0, Melanomas of the skin, 490, 7.1, 3,665, 4.4, 60, 5.7, Cervix Uteri, 690, 5.6, 3,120 and 4.2 units of measure (appearing as column headers).
  Rank 0 to 24 years old 25 to 49 years old 50 years old and over
Cancer type Number Percentage of all cancers Cancer type Number Percentage of all cancers Cancer type Number Percentage of all cancers
Males  
  Note ...: not applicable All cancers combined 1,220 100.0 All cancers combined 6,905 100.0 All cancers combined 83,720 100.0
  1 Testis 190 15.6 Colon and rectum 805 11.7 Prostate 19,295 23.0
  2 Acute lymphocytic leukemia 150 12.3 Testis 665 9.6 Lung and Bronchus 12,425 14.8
  3 Brain 150 12.3 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 555 8.0 Colon and rectum 11,310 13.5
  4 Hodgkin lymphoma 115 9.4 Thyroid 535 7.7 Bladder 6,915 8.3
  5 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 110 9.0 Melanomas of the skin 490 7.1 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 3,665 4.4
Females  
  Note ...: not applicable All cancers combined 1,050 100.0 All cancers combined 12,405 100.0 All cancers combined 75,145 100.0
  1 Thyroid 155 14.8 Breast 4,200 33.9 Breast 19,035 25.3
  2 Acute lymphocytic leukemia 140 13.3 Thyroid 1,990 16.0 Lung and Bronchus 11,200 14.9
  3 Brain 100 9.5 Melanomas of the skin 740 6.0 Colon and rectum 9,170 12.2
  4 Hodgkin lymphoma 95 9.0 Colon and rectum 705 5.7 Corpus uteri 4,965 6.6
  5 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 60 5.7 Cervix Uteri 690 5.6 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma 3,120 4.2
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