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Lung Cancer

Understanding the key facts and figures about lung cancer research.

In Canada, an estimated 28,600 people are diagnosed with lung cancer every year, making it the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the country. It is also the leading cause of cancer related death in Canada, killing approximately 21,100 people in 2017. This represents 26 per cent of all cancer related deaths.

Lung cancer affects men slightly more than women and is often divided into two subgroups: small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Although more than 85 per cent of lung cancers in Canada are related to smoking cigarettes, many people diagnosed with the disease have never smoked. Understanding who is at a higher risk of contracting this disease and creating screening protocols that allow for early detection is key to reducing lung cancer-related mortality.

Today, high prevalence, high mortality rates, poor screening protocols and ineffective treatments for people with advanced disease make lung cancer 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 lung cancer scientific teams and programs in the country.

In 2017/18, roughly 3 per cent of the money invested by the TFRI supported blood cancer research. This added up to a total investment of $650,000.*

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.