Latest update: september 2019

First and foremost, please note that these statistics are estimates based on data from 2010 for Quebec and 2015 for the rest of Canada.

We are providing you with a summary of some of the facts and statistics on cancer to help you understand and guide you through everything you may find out about the subject. Although the estimates provided are not accurate forecasts, they do provide a good indication of the actual situation.

The number of cancer cases is on the rise

In 2019, 55,600 Quebecers are expected to be diagnosed with cancer, which represents 152 new cases every day. This number has been increasing for several years and is expected to increase even more in the years to come. It is the result primarily of aging and population growth. It is also estimated that 22,100 people in the province will die of cancer every day, at a rate of 61 deaths per day.

This means that on average in Quebec, someone learns that they have cancer every 9 minutes. Every 24 minutes, someone dies of it. In fact, cancer is the leading cause of death in Quebec, ahead of  cardiovascular disease.

Despite the increase in the number of cancer cases, the mortality rate from the disease has decreased by 20% among women and by 35% among men in Canada since 1988. Overall, for all cancers combined, the net 5-year survival rate increased from 55% in the early 1990s to about 63% in 2019. These advances are linked to improvements in cancer screening practice, advances in treatment and to some lifestyle changes, including reduced tobacco use. Measures such as quitting smoking, eating well, being physically active and protecting yourself from the sun can go a long way toward reducing your risk of cancer.

Cancer in Quebec

In Quebec:

Prostate cancer is the type of cancer most often diagnosed in men
Breast cancer is the type  of cancer most often diagnosed in women
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women

prostate cancer is the cancer most often diagnosed in men.

We estimate that in 2019 :
  • 4,800 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • 4,300 men will be diagnosed with lung cancer
  • 3,800 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
  • 6,500 women  will be diagnosed with breast cancer
  • 4,100 women will be diagnosed with lung cancer
  • 3,000 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer
And :
  • 3,500 men will die of lung cancer
  • 1,450 men will die of colorectal cancer
  • 880 men will die of prostate cancer
  • 3,100 women will died of lung cancer
  • 1,300 women will die of breast cancer
  • 1,200 women will die of colorectal cancer

Usefulness and limitations of statistics

Statistics are tools that are designed to illustrate data related to a given population and not to illustrate the particular situation of an individual. They can therefore be used to:
  • Describe the health status of a population
  • Evaluate a test, treatment, or therapeutic trial
  • Look for and identify causal factors
  • Assess the quality and control of certain practices
  • Assess and establish the health care economic system
  • Illustrate the probability of healing, remission or recurrence
However, statistics can’t be interpreted as individual predictors of cure, remission or relapse; they are not certainties.
We can’t base the chances of recovery from cancer on statistics. There are many variables to consider, such as the type of cancer, its location, the stage of the disease and the response to treatment.

To learn more about the various topics related to cancer, please contact our Info-Cancer Line at 1 800 363-0063 FREE. A specialized oncology nurse will listen to you, answer all your questions and give you the support you need.

Source: Canadian Cancer Statistics. 2019 Learn more

Consult our catalogue to find publications on this topic that you can borrow free of charge.

Comment on this article

Sign up for our newsletter


Related items

Cancer screening

With early detection and better investigation and treatment methods, the survival rate for Canadians with cancer is over 60%. By comparison, in the 1940s, this stood at about 25%. For some cancers, the survival rate is even higher: 88% for breast cancer, 97% for testicular cancer or 96% for prostate cancer.


Managing side effects of cancer and treatments

Cancer treatments are often accompanied by side effects, which manifest as symptoms of physical, and even psychological, discomfort. Although usually transitory, they can vary depending on the treatment in question and the sensitivity of each individual.  Readmore


Radiation therapy involves the use of X-rays, gamma rays, electrons and other forms of high-energy radiation. The treatment is painless and does not last long, from one to five minutes. In fact, the waiting and preparation phases often take longer than the treatment itself, about 10 to 15 minutes. Readmore

Cancer prevention

While many aspects of cancer remain unknown at this time, it is possible for you to adopt life habits that can help you prevent the disease.
There are therefore things you can do to positively affect your health and minimize certain risk factors. Readmore

Supporting a love one with cancer

A loved one has cancer and you want to support them in their ordeal? There is no model or recipe to follow. The answer is actually quite simple: be attentive and show that you are there for them. Whatever help you can give will be invaluable. Readmore