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Blood cancer survival rate has increased more than any other cancer over the last 20 years, report finds

The Canadian Cancer Society released its annual statistics report highlighting steadily increasing survivorship rates for blood cancer - outpacing all others.
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According to the Canadian Cancer Society 2019 report, one in two people will be diagnosed with some form of cancer; nearly 27,000 of those people will be from B.C. Although this number is higher than previous years, the report highlights how 5-year survival rates are also up across the country, especially for blood-related cancers and breast cancer.  

In time for Blood Cancer Awareness Month, one of the report's key findings indicated that the biggest increases in survival since the early 1990s is for blood-related cancers including multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and leukemia. And, thanks to early detection and improvements in treatments, more women are surviving after a breast cancer diagnosis than ever before. Here in B.C., the BC Cancer Breast Screening Program was the first population-based breast screening program in Canada and today includes 39 screening centres and three mobile mammography coaches that serve more than 120 rural communities in the province. While it is estimated that one in eight B.C. women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, the mortality rate has been nearly cut in half since its peak. B.C. continues to have one of the lowest cancer incidents and mortality rates in the country. 

The report also noted two other key findings. Pancreatic cancer, the 11th most commonly diagnosed cancer for British Columbians, is expected to become the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the province which also follows the national trend noted in the report. Lastly, the report indicates that women’s lung cancer mortality rates are improving after lagging behind men’s for decades. This is attributed to women decreasing their tobacco use later than men, according to the report

The Canadian Cancer Society annual report offers researchers, health care providers, and members of the public with a snapshot of cancer incidence, mortality and survival estimates. Click here to view the full report

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