Montreal (AFP) - Canada must boost its capacity to treat cancers as new cases among its aging and growing population are set to soar, the Canadian Cancer Society said Wednesday.
The agency released a report in collaboration with Statistics Canada and the nation's public health agency predicting a 40 percent rise in new cancer cases in the next 15 years.
The study estimates that 227,000 people a year will be diagnosed with cancer by 2030, amid an upsurge in prostate and colorectal cancer cases.
After years of progress made in fighting cancer, which has brought about big gains in survival rates, the report says the risk of getting cancer will likely remain relatively steady -- "dipping slightly for men and increasing slightly for women."
"But Canada's rapidly aging population -- 1 in 4 Canadians will be 65 or older by 2030 –- could push the country beyond its current capacity to provide adequate care for cancer patients," it warned.
"There will also be a greater need for support for the anticipated increase in cancer survivors."
Survival rates of Canadians diagnosed with cancer is now over 60 percent, compared to 25 percent in the 1940s.
Planning for greater numbers of cases, according to the cancer society, will require educating more oncologists and other medical specialists, building more hospitals and clinics, spending more on research, and improving support for family caregivers.
The society also urged prevention such as quitting smoking, taking screening tests, getting vaccinated against HPV, and avoiding long exposure to the sun.
Total cancer deaths in 2015 are expected to reach 78,000, with almost all of them occurring in people over the age of 50.
Four cancers are expected to account for half of newly diagnosed cases this year: lung, breast, colorectal and prostate.