Key takes from the 2023 Canadian Cancer Statistics

The Canadian Cancer Statistics 2023 report is publicly available! You can access it here.

This annual report is important for seeing the cancer reality in Canada.

As a Canadian resident, cancer scientist and cancer advocate, this report is an interest and an excellent reference for knowledge for me.

Some data presented in this report that may be an interest to you:

  • Cancer is the number of cause of death in Canada (more people are dying from cancer than other reasons for death)
  • 2 in 5 Canadians are estimated to be diagnosed with cancer
  • 1 in 4 Canadians are estimated to die of cancer
  • The annual new cancer cases estimated is around 240,000 Canadians
  • Similarly, the estimated annual number of deaths from cancer is around 86,500 Canadians
  • The 5-year survival rate (the chances of being alive 5 years after the cancer diagnosis) is currently around 64% for all types of cancer combined (up from 55% in 1990’s)
  • Another good news is that the risk of cancer has been decreasing for individuals, while the total numbers of new cases and deaths because of cancer have been increasing. This latter increase is attributed to increased population size of Canada and the fact that we have an aging population (as age increases, cancer risk increases as well)
  • Almost 90% of the cancers will be diagnosed on Canadians who are 50 years of age or older (again, generally speaking, as our age increases, our risk of cancer increases).
  • Lung, prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers make almost half of the new cancer cases
  • In a long while, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) is NOT the province to have the highest cancer incidence rate – this time it is our neighbour Nova Scotia
  • In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), the estimated new cancer diagnosis for the year is 4,000. Around 1,400 NL residents are estimated to die of cancer in 2023.
  • The most common cancers estimated in 2023 for NL are lung, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers
  • Generally, the cancer (incidence and mortality) rates are lower in Western Canada than central and Atlantic Canada (talking about our postal code having an impact on our health…)
  • Colorectal cancer incidence rates have been declining – which is great news! Eight per cent of the colorectal cancers are estimated to be diagnosed in young folk (younger than 50 years of age)
  • Overall, Canadian cancer control efforts have been working well in some areas particularly, but there is certainly more work to do

Until then, folks, please try to reduce your cancer risk as much as possible; educate and advocate for yourself, your health, knowledge, and healthcare; take advantage of cancer screening programs and support programs.

Wish you all healthy and joyful days ahead!

Sevtap Savas. PhD. St. John’s, NL, November 9 2023

Committee works can provide opportunities to help control cancer’s effects


Being an academic gives me a chance of doing lots of interesting things, like working towards cancer patient & family wellness through my roles in professional organizations.

I have been a member of the The Canadian Association of Psychosocial Oncology (CAPO for a few years now. I am also a very happy chair of its Advocacy Committee that does awesome work.

Watch this short video where my colleague and co-chair Kimberley Thibodeau & I summarize the work we have done during the last year as the Advocacy Committee of CAPO.

What a pleasure to work with Kimberley and other members of this committee to better conditions of and experiences for cancer patients and families in Canada and beyond.

I must say – Kimberley is the BEST collaborator I have ever worked with!! She is energetic, positive, and simply incredible – thanks for this experience Kimberley!