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Gastrointestinal Cancer

Understanding the key facts and figures about gastrointestinal cancer research.

Gastrointestinal cancers are a group of cancers that affect the digestive tract, including the stomach, bowel and anus. The most prevalent of these cancers is stomach cancer. In Canada, an estimated 4,100 people are diagnosed with stomach cancer every year. This cancer tends to affect men more than women and is more prevalent in people over the age of 50. It is estimated that in 2019, 1,950 Canadians died from stomach cancer.

Survival rates for gastrointestinal cancers vary depending on the location of the cancer and whether the disease was detected early on. Stomach cancer, the most prevalent of these cancers, has an extremely low five-year survival rate, with only one in four people surviving five years past their diagnosis

Today, high-mortality rates, ineffective treatments and poor quality of life for those who survive gastrointestinal cancers make these diseases a pressing health issue in Canada.

Our Research Strategy

Given these challenges, the Terry Fox Research Institute has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy to fund the best gastrointestinal cancer scientific teams and programs in the country.

In 2018/19, roughly 1.4 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported gastrointestinal cancer research. This added up to a total investment of nearly $384,000.*

To allocate its resources, the Institute has international experts evaluate the excellence and the potential for impact of all its research projects. This approach distinguishes our research investment strategy from all others in Canada and allows donors to be confident that their investment is supporting the top 5% of Canadian researchers and their science.

*Our scientific discovery projects are interdisciplinary by design and often focus on more than one cancer type. The figures listed above are an estimate and should not be taken as exact figures.