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This article presents national data (excluding Quebec) on cancer incidence by stage at diagnosis for lung, colorectal, female breast and prostate cancers. Data from the Canadian Cancer Registry are combined for the diagnosis years 2011 to 2015. Half of all new lung cancers were diagnosed at stage IV, and of the two types of lung cancer, small cell was more often diagnosed at this stage than non-small cell. About half of colorectal cancers were diagnosed at stages III and IV, and stage-specific incidence rates were generally higher for males than females. More than 80% of female breast and almost three-quarters of prostate cancers were diagnosed at stages I and II. Later-stage diagnosis was more common in older age groups for both cancers.


Cancer staging, incidence, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer


Cancer stage is an important indicator of the progression of the disease and is used to plan treatment programs. Aggregate statistics on cancer incidence by stage can be used by healthcare providers, researchers and policy analysts to identify trends in diagnosis by cancer site and to evaluate the effectiveness of early detection programs. [Full Text]


Shirley Bryan (shirley.bryan@canada.ca), Huda Masoud and Nadine Badets are with the Health Statistics Division, Statistics Canada, Ottawa, Ontario. Hannah K. Weir is with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ryan Woods is with BC Cancer. Gina Lockwood is with the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer. Leah Smith is with the Canadian Cancer Society. James Brierley and Mary Gospodarowicz are with the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention.

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