Report shows drop in number of cancer deaths in Canada
Published Wednesday, May 9, 2012 6:09PM CST
A new report from the Canadian Cancer Society shows there's been a steady decline in the number of deaths in the country from the disease.
"The biggest reason for the decrease in cancer is because of the fall in men's lung-cancer rates. The biggest reason in the fall in lung-cancer rates is because people have quit smoking over the decades," said Will Cooke from the Canadian Cancer Society.
Officials said that's because more men quit smoking in the 1960s. Lung-cancer rates for women, however, haven't dropped as much because many women quit smoking in later decades.
Government officials in Manitoba have also pledged more funding in the lung-cancer fight.
"The province announced they would dedicate two per cent of tobacco-tax funding, which is $250 million, to reduce smoking," said Cooke.
Cancer Care Manitoba's CEO, Dr. Dhali Dhaliwal, said government funding is just one step.
"Raising awareness and getting people to reduce their risk of cancer - nearly 50 per cent are preventable. That's a huge incentive to double and re-double actions," he said.
Victor Morello kicked a 40-year, two-pack-a-day smoking habit in the 1990s. But in 2009, 15 years after quitting, he was diagnosed with throat cancer.
"I figured...I'm done," he said.
Morello, 75, beat the odds, however.
For others thinking of lighting up, Morello has straight-ahead advice.
"Don't start smoking – that's the safest way to do it," he said.
Manitoba has the highest rate of smokers in the country, at 21 per cent.
In Manitoba, about 6,200 people are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Cancer-care officials in Manitoba say lung-cancer rates have declined due to fewer men smoking. (file image)