We can reduce deaths by diagnosing cancer earlier.

Early detection through screening programs is vital to controlling cancer. But current programs are not readily or widely available and/or accessible, and not organized for maximum effectiveness. In fact, the likelihood of being screened for various cancers depends on your income, your education level, and where you live.

It’s especially unfortunate when you consider the effectiveness of screening:

 

Breast Cancer: While screening can reduce mortality by up to 40%, less than half of women aged 50-69 get routine mammograms. In most provinces, as few as 25% of women participate in current organized provincial screening programs. An organized screening program was introduced in Ontario in 1990, but only a third of mammograms are conducted through it.

Cervical Cancer: One Canadian woman dies of cervical cancer almost every day, yet screening could prevent up to 90% of those deaths. Pap screening is largely unorganized, and women at low risk of cervical cancer are over-screened, while women at high risk are under-screened. The good news is that Health Canada recently approved a vaccine, and the federal government announced $300 million for a national vaccination program

Colorectal Cancer: Mortality could be reduced by up to 33% through a Fecal Occult Blood Test every two years, yet only 10% of Canadians aged 50 – 74 report screening in the past two years.
Other Cancers: Early detection can result in a cure for many cancers including mouth, larynx, skin, and testes

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When it comes to controlling cancer, we know what we need to learn. Research priorities have been identified that will cut cancer down to size. As a bonus, Canada’s uniquely diverse population and geography make us an ideal research base.

Cancer Facts