FREDERICTON (GNB) – The New Brunswick Cancer Network has released its fourth cancer report, which expands on previously published information.

Cancer in New Brunswick 2007-2013 contains new information, including cancer prevalence and cancer survival by stage, as well as geographical distribution of the four most common cancers across New Brunswick. It also has information about cancer incidence, mortality, trends, survival rates and projections.

“Information in this report is incredibly valuable for guiding cancer prevention and control strategies,” said Dr. Eshwar Kumar, a medical advisor for the network. “Cancer surveillance is critical to reducing the burden of this devastating disease in New Brunswick.”

The report provides information to the public, health-care professionals, researchers, administrators and policy makers. Besides informing policy creation, the report is meant to identify potential research needs.

“Over the course of a lifetime, cancer will likely impact every New Brunswick family,” said Dr. Réjean Savoie, another medical advisor for the network. “Cancer continues to have a significant impact in this province, but we are pleased that this update will help lead informed decisions that will help our health system respond appropriately.”

Among the report’s findings are:

•           Between 2007 and 2013, there were an average of 4,588 new cancer cases and 1,833 deaths from cancer annually.

•           The four most prevalent cancers (prostate, breast, lung and colorectal) accounted for the majority (56 per cent) of newly diagnosed cancers.

•           Lung cancer was the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males and females, and it was responsible for more deaths than prostate, breast and colorectal cancers combined.

•           Despite an increase in the number of new cases, the overall mortality and survival rates for selected cancers have improved compared to the last reporting period 2002-06 (for stomach, lung and prostate in men and breast and cervical cancers in women). The network hopes these trends continue with advancements in cancer treatments and the development of screening programs to diagnose and treat cancers at an earlier stage when treatments are more effective.

•           Accurate and timely cancer registration will be even more important in the future, as the number of new cases in New Brunswick is predicted to increase, primarily due to the aging population. The annual number of newly diagnosed invasive cancer cases is expected to top 7,000 in 2030 if the current trend continues.

The New Brunswick Cancer Network, a division of the Department of Health, is responsible for the development and implementation of an evidence-based provincial strategy for all elements of cancer care, including prevention, screening, treatment, followup care, palliative care, education and research.

The full report is available online.