(Ottawa) New data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada showed that the proportion of Canadians with cancer who received timely surgical treatment is steadily increasing with increasing incomes for the four most common cancers.
The federal agency noted that between 2012 and 2015, 65.8% of patients in the higher income group received surgical treatment within six months of their lung cancer diagnosis, compared to 49.5% of the lowest income group.
Differences in surgical treatment were also found between the higher-income and lower-income group of breast cancer (87.8% versus 81.4%) and colorectal cancer (85.7% versus 81.2%). Statistics Canada notes that the two types of cancer are generally associated with a higher rate of surgical procedures compared to lung cancer.
Although the proportion of prostate cancer cases requiring surgical treatment was much lower, the proportion of patients who underwent surgery in the higher income group was 37.3% versus 30.9% in the lower income group.
Statistics Canada specifies that although these ratios only reflect differences between income groups, many other factors related to lifestyle, geography, and socioeconomic characteristics influence access to treatment.
More than 220,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed each year in Canada. According to Statistics Canada, breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer account for nearly half of these diagnoses.