Issue 19-16 Cancer Incidence

January 30, 2019

There were a total of 24,895 new cases of cancer diagnosed in British Columbia in 2016, a slight increase (+1.6%) compared to the previous year. This makes for an overall (non-age-standardized) cancer incidence rate of 523 per 100,000 population, relatively unchanged from 2015 (+0.2% from 522). The rate for new cancer cases among males in the province increased 1.4%, to 551, whereas the rate among women declined 1.1%, to 496 per 100,000 population.

In 2016, the four most commonly diagnosed cancers in B.C. were breast (14%), lung and bronchus (13%), prostate (12%) and colon and rectum (12%), and combined accounted for half of all new cancer diagnoses. The most frequently diagnosed cancers among men included prostate (23%), colon and rectum (13%), lung and bronchus (12%), and urinary bladder (9%) cancers. Among women, the most commonly diagnosed consisted of breast (28%), lung and bronchus (13%), colon and rectum (11%), and corpus uteri (7%) cancers.

Nationally (excluding Quebec), the number of new cancer diagnoses totalled 146,290 in 2016, up 1.9% from 2015. Meanwhile, the incidence rate inched up (+0.5%), to 524 per 100,000 population. Six of the reporting provinces registered year-over-year decreases in rate of new cancer diagnoses, with P.E.I. (‑5.6%) posting the greatest decline, followed by Nova Scotia (-3.0%) and Manitoba (-2.9%). Conversely, Newfoundland and Labrador (+3.3%) and Ontario (+1.9%) saw the biggest increases in incidence rate.

Data Source: Statistics Canada