New data released by Alberta Health Services shows that the province’s cancer rates have declined over the past ten years.

AHS says the rate at which Albertans are being diagnosed with cancer, or dying from the disease, is continuing to decrease and overall the cancer rates have declined by about one per cent per year between 2002 and 2010.

In addition, mortality rates have also decreased over the past 20 years, falling by 2.8 per cent each year between 2004 and 2010.

“Directly or indirectly, cancer affects the lives of almost every Albertan, which is why the Alberta government remains committed to providing world-class cancer prevention and treatment,” says Fred Horne, Minister of Health. “It’s clear that the efforts of our researchers and clinicians are making a difference: the proportion of Albertans developing cancer is going down and the proportion of Albertans who survive cancer is going up. These are encouraging trends.” 

Dr. Paul Grundy, Cancer Care Senior Vice President and Senior Medical Director, says the province is on the right track with cancer control.

“The data suggests our public health efforts in areas such as tobacco cessation, sun safety and cancer screening are having a positive effect. And the steady reduction in mortality rates is a tribute to the leading-edge care available in the province and the hard work and expertise of our oncologists and the health providers who support them,” said Grundy.

The two reports on cancer statistics have been released to coincide with World Cancer Day,
Feb. 4, as a way to raise awareness of the toll that the disease takes on Albertans and to recognize some of the hard work that is being done in cancer control.

According to the new statistics, roughly one in every two Albertans will develop cancer in their lifetime and approximately one in four Albertans will die from cancer.

More cancer stats from the two reports:

  • Most commonly diagnosed cancers in Alberta in 2010 were breast, prostate, colorectal and lung
  • These four cancers account for 53% of new cases and about half of cancer deaths
  • 15,232 new cancer cases were diagnosed in Alberta in 2010
  • 5,526 Albertans died from the disease in 2010
  • Cancer accounted for 27% of deaths across all ages for the province in 2010

The new data comes from two reports, the 2010 Report on Cancer Statistics in Alberta and the Annual Cancer Registry Report, updated in 2010, and released Monday to coincide with World Cancer Day.

The data reflects the state of the Alberta Cancer Registry as of July 31, 2012.

To view the Cancer Surveillance Reports, visit the Alberta Health Services website or see the document below.

2010 Report on Cancer Statistics in Alberta