Lung cancer rates dropping faster than any other type
Lung cancer death rates in Canada have seen a significant decline over the last few years, thanks in part to early disease detection and a reduction in smoking rates, according to a new report.
The Canadian Cancer Statistics 2023 was released Wednesday by the Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) in collaboration with Statistics Canada. It found lung cancer death rates in Canada are declining faster than any other type of cancer.
Despite the reduction, it’s still the leading cause of cancer deaths, responsible for about one in four cancer fatalities among Canadians.
But in recent years there have been significant decreases in incidents and death rates for lung cancer, according to the report.
Between 2015 and 2020, lung cancer death rates decreased by 4.3 per cent per year since 2014 for men and 4.1 per cent per year since 2016 for women, the report found.
“This represents the largest annual decline in mortality rates across all cancer types reported, and the fastest decline in lung cancer mortality reported to date in Canada,” the researchers of the report said.
They credited Canada’s major tobacco control measures that have played a role in reducing the number of people who smoke, which has contributed to the decrease in lung cancer deaths.
More than one in three Canadians skipped out on going to the dentist between 2021 and 2022, and almost one-quarter say this was due to cost.
Data from Statistics Canada released on Nov. 6 found that more than one-third of Canadians reported not having any dental insurance, making it difficult for them to get the care they need.
Canadian Dental Association president Dr. Heather Carr told Global News the numbers are concerning in part due to oral care being linked to a person’s overall health.
“The best way to prevent dental disease and pain is early detection so you can get in while it’s easy to fix,” Carr, who is also a practising dentist, said. “So if you’re not able to go, that can lead to some pretty serious consequences.”
The data, which was based on the Canadian Community Health Survey, comes months after the federal government announced its dental care plan in the 2023 budget. It promised $13 billion over the next five years to implement the national dental care plan, which the federal government says will insure up to nine million people.
The medical ingredient in Zepbound is called tirzepatide, which is the same ingredient in another Eli Lilly drug called Mounjaro, a Type 2 diabetes medicine. Mounjaro was approved in Canada last year for Type 2 diabetes but has been prescribed off-label for obesity.
Wegovy has never been available in Canada — despite being approved two years ago — due to persistent supply issues.
Health Canada told Global News in an email that Eli Lilly has not submitted Zepbound for review in Canada.
Dr. Sean Wharton, an internal medicine physician and weight management specialist, told Global News the arrival of new weight-loss drugs is great for doctors and patients alike, because it means there are more options for care and more competition in the market could drive these drug prices down across the board.