The future burden of cancer in Canada: Long-term cancer incidence projections 2013–2042 Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and the estimated annual spending associated with cancer is approximately $7.5 billion. Projecting the future burden of cancer in Canada is essential for health planning and evaluation. We aimed to estimate the future incidence of cancer in Canada to 2042. METHODS: Age-sex-region-specific cancer incidence data were obtained for the years 1983-2012 and cancer incidence was projected from 2013 to 2042 for the top five cancer sites. The modelling algorithm combined a mixture of cancer projection methods to select the best-fitted model. When the chosen model produced by the modelling algorithm resulted in estimates that were not consistent with expert opinion, an alternate model was selected that took into consideration historical changes in policy, screening and lifestyle behaviours. Incidence projections were made for Canada and its provinces. RESULTS: Lung cancer incidence is estimated to rise to 14,866 cases in men and 19,162 in women in 2042. Colorectal cancer incidence is estimated to rise to 28,146 in men and 21,102 in women. Cases of bladder cancer are projected to rise to 10,708 and 3,364 in men and women, respectively. Breast cancer incidence is predicted to rise to 40,712 and prostate cancer incidence is projected to rise to 92,949. CONCLUSION: These cancer incidence projections up to 2042 can be used for planning cancer control strategies and prevention programs. Given the ongoing changes in the prevalence of risk factors and in cancer prevention policies, these estimates should be interpreted with caution.


  • Poirier, Abbey E
  • Ruan, Yibing
  • Walter, Stephen
  • Franco, Eduardo L
  • Villeneuve, Paul J
  • King, Will D
  • Volesky, Karena D
  • O’Sullivan, Dylan E
  • Friedenreich, Christine M
  • Brenner, Darren R

publication date

  • April 2019