(Ottawa) New data released Wednesday by Statistics Canada shows that the proportion of Canadians with cancer who received timely surgical treatment increases steadily with income for the four most commonly diagnosed cancers.
The federal agency noted that between 2012 and 2015, 65.8% of patients in the highest income group received surgical treatment within six months of being diagnosed with lung cancer, compared with 49.5 % of those in the lowest income group.
Differences in surgical treatment were also found between the highest income group and the lowest income group for breast cancer (87.8% versus 81.4%) and colorectal cancer ( 85.7% versus 81.2%). Statistics Canada has observed that these two cancers are generally associated with a higher proportion 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 had surgery in the highest income group was 37.3% compared to 30.9% in the lowest income group.
Statistics Canada specifies that although these proportions reflect differences only between income groups, several other factors related to lifestyle, geography and socioeconomic characteristics influence access to treatment.
More than 220,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year in Canada. Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and colorectal cancer account for almost half of these diagnoses, according to Statistics Canada.