Canada faces cancer care crisis

2005/4/13

Canada is facing  a cancer care crisis with the number of new cases growing twice as fast as the country's population.

"It's difficult now to deal with the cancer cases we have and it will only get worse" Canadian Cancer Society spokeswoman Heather Logan told CBC Newsworld in an interview to mark the 25th anniversary of the day runner Terry Fox began his Marathon of Hope to raise money for cancer research.

The Cancer Society said 149000 new cases will be diagnosed in 2005 about 3500 more new cases than doctors detected a year earlier. About 69000 people will die of the disease up by 1200 from 2004.

Canadian cancer statistics 2005

About 2.7 million Canadians will die of cancer over the next three decades if the current trend continues Logan said.

Cancer rates are growing in part because the Canadian population is aging. The types increasing the fastest for men are thyroid skin and prostate cancer Logan said. Thyroid lung and skin cancer rates are rising most rapidly for women. Those rates may be rising in part because skin thyroid lung and prostate cases are being detected earlier she added.

At least half of all cancers are preventable if people make simple lifestyle choices. That includes quitting smoking eating more fruit and vegetables and increasing exercise by even a small amount each day - "getting off the bus one stop early and walking to your house or office."