Canadian Cancer Statistics 2020 & 2021
- Quick Glance
- Projected Cases
- Incident Rates by Gender
- Mortality Rates
- Survival Rates
- View Full Report 2021
- Link to Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 report
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2020 & 2021
The leading cause of melanoma is the over exposure to ultroviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or artificial sources. Exposed human skin can tan or burn – both are signs of damage to the underlying cells. A burn, in particular, is a marker of extensive damage that normal DNA repair mechanisms may not be able to repair. Sunburn at any age is an indicator of UVR overexposure (generally intermittent exposure) and increases the risk of skin cancer, particularly of melanoma. The rate of melanoma skin cancer is still increasing although this is a largely preventable cancer.
UV-emitting tanning devices are now also classified as carcinogenic to humans based on their association with skin and ocular melanoma cancers .
A Global survey of over 700 dermatologists estimates 21% of early-stage melanoma undiagnosed due to 33% of professional skin-check appointments missed during COVID lockdowns.
All statistics are from Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 and 2021 Canadian Cancer Statistics
From 8,000 in 2020 (an increase of 8.5%)
*Canada totals include provincial and territorial estimates. Territories are
not included separately due to small numbers.
** Quebec was not included because a different projection method
was used for Quebec than the other regions, meaning the
estimates are not comparable. See Appendix II: Data source and
methods for additional details.
In males, the incidence rate for melanoma has increased steadily at about 2.2% per year since 1984. In females, the incidence rate for melanoma was stable from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s, but it began increasing after 1994 (2.0%). Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation through sunlight, tanning beds and sun lamps is a well established risk factor for melanoma.(23) Other risk factors include having a fair complexion, the number and type of moles, personal and family history of skin cancer, a weakened immune system and a history of severe blistering sunburns.
Although melanoma rates are on the rise. we’ve seen a decrease of percentage in mortality rates. These decreases have largely been attributed to the introduction of improved drug therapies and early diagnosis, as well as the implementation of awareness programs.
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 Appendix II note: Non-melanoma skin cancers (neoplasms, NOS; epithelial neoplasms, NOS; basal and squamous) are not included since most PTCRs do not collect incidence data on this type of cancer. These cancers are difficult to register because they may be diagnosed and/or treated in a variety of settings that do not report to the PTCRs, including dermatologist offices.
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2021. Produced by Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries cancer.ca/statistics. Available at: https://bit.ly/38yHITD
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019. Produced by Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries cancer.ca/statistics. Available at: https://bit.ly/3euAJcL
Canadian Cancer Statistics 2017. Produced by Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries cancer.ca/statistics. Available at: https://goo.gl/ZxY9ht
Canadian Cancer Society. Melanoma Overview. Available at: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/overview/.
[a] 2020 Canadian Melanoma skin Cancer Statistics. Available at: https://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/statistics/?region=on
 Canadian Cancer Society. Melanoma Overview. Available at: http://www.cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-type/skin-melanoma/overview/.
 Canadian Dermatology Association Photoaging: https://dermatology.ca/public-patients/skin/photoaging/
 World Health Organization https://www.who.int/activities/preventing-cancer
Canadian Cancer Society’s Advisory. Committee on Cancer Statistics. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019. Toronto, ON: Canadian Cancer Society; 2019. Available at: cancer.ca Accessed on April 16, 2020
 World Health Organization Cancers Attributalbe to UV Radiation https://gco.iarc.fr/causes/uv/tools
 International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group on artificial ultraviolet l, skin c. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers: A systematic review. Int J Cancer 2007;120(5):1116-22. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17131335
 (IARC Working Group on Risk of Skin Cancer and Exposure to Artificial Ultraviolet Light, International Agency for Research on Cancer (Eds.).Exposure to Artificial UV Radiation and Skin Cancer. Lyon, France: World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2006.; Yam JCS, Kwok AKH. Ultraviolet light and ocular diseases. Int Ophthalmol 2014;34(2):383–400. PMID: 23722672).
 (Gerber, B., Mathys, P., Moser, M., Bressoud, D., & Braun-Fahrländer, C. (2002). Ultraviolet emission spectra of sunbeds. Photochemistry and Photobiology, 76(6), 664-668).
[gc] Global Coalition survey data https://www.melanomanetwork.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Missed-melanoma-data-for-May-2021-campaign.xlsx
In 2009, WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified exposure to UV-emitting tanning devices as carcinogenic to humans.