Issue 16-44: Cancer Incidence

March 15, 2016

There were a total of 22,245 new cases of cancer diagnosed in British Columbia in 2013, a 5.7% decline compared to the previous year, making for a rate of 485 per 100,000 population. When controlled for age, the incidence rate fell 8.1%, to 345 per 100,000 population. The age-standardized rate for new cancer cases among men decreased 9.2%, to 373, whereas the rate among women dropped 7.0%, to 322 per 100,000 population. Over the past ten reporting years, the number of new cases of cancer jumped 19.8%, largely due to an aging population, as the age-standardized rate fell 7.2% between 2003 and 2013.

In 2013, the four most commonly diagnosed cancers in B.C. were breast (14%), colon and rectum (13%), prostate (13%), and lung and bronchus (13%), combined accounting for over half of all new cancer diagnoses. The most frequently diagnosed cancers among men included prostate (24%), colon and rectum (14%), lung and bronchus (12%), and urinary bladder (7%) cancer. Among women, the most commonly diagnosed consisted of breast (28%), lung and bronchus (13%), colon & rectum (12%), and corpus uteri (6%) cancers.

Nationally, the number of new cancer diagnoses totalled 180,465 in 2013, up 2.6% from 2012. Controlling for age, the incidence rate inched up (+0.5%), to 392 per 100,000 population. All but three of the provinces registered year-over-year declines in the age-standardized rate of new cancer diagnoses, with P.E.I. (-10.7%) posting the greatest decrease, followed by B.C. (-8.1%) and Alberta (-4.2%). Conversely, Ontario’s incidence rate jumped +6.0%.

Data Source: Statistics Canada