Cancer, Heart & Stroke

One in every 2.5 women and 1 in every 2.2 men will have some form of cancer in their lifetime.

One in nine Canadian women will be stricken by breast cancer in her lifetime.  Canada has the second highest rate of breast cancer in the world.

One in 11 men and one in 18 women will develop lung cancer.

Every four minutes a Canadian is diagnosed with cancer.

The number of new cancer cases will increase by 50% over the next 20 years.

67% of costs associated with cancer treatment in Canada are not covered by any public health plan.

Survival rate of at least five years for cancer is currently 62%.

One in every three women and one in every two men will contract some form of heart disease in their lifetime.  The risk of developing cardiovascular disease after age 40 increases to two in every three for men and more than one in every two for women.

Survival rate in Canada is currently 80% for heart attacks.

Coronary artery bypass performed out of country, including a seven-day hospital stay, costs approximately $100,000.

One in every 20 Canadians will suffer a stroke.

Survival rate is 85% for strokes.

Multiple Sclerosis

More that 50,000 Canadians have Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is the most common neurological disease among Canadians.

Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world.

MS is twice than likely in women as men.


Over 30,000 Canadians suffer from paralysis of two or more limbs.

The most common causes of spinal cord injury are car collisions and falls.

Kidney Failure

Kidney Disease ranks sixth among diseases eventually causing death in Canada.

Approximately 2,000 Canadians are on a waiting list for a kidney transplant.

Each day an average of eight Canadians learn that their kidneys have failed.

Parkinson’s Disease

30% of all Parkinson’s Disease patients in Canada are under age 50.

20% of all Parkinson’s Disease patients are under age 40.

Approximately 80-100,000 Canadians suffer from Parkinson’s.

Occupational HIV

Approximately 4,400,000 Canadian care workers suffer injuries from needle sticks (800,000 needles) and other sharp objects annually.

An estimated 16,000 of these objects are contaminated with HIV.


280,000 Canadians are deaf.

1,200,000 Canadians are hard of hearing.

There are more than 2,800,000 Canadians suffering from hearing loss.

Type 1 Diabetes

More than 3,000,000 Canadians have some form of diabetes.

Over 300,000 Canadians live with Type 1 Diabetes.

The number of people living with Type 1 Diabetes is increasing 3-5% annually with the great rise occurring in children age five to nine.

Canada has the sixth highest incidence rate of Type 1 Diabetes in children age 14 years and younger in the world.

Diabetes and its complications cost the Canadian economy more that $15,000,000,000 a year.


Autism is now recognized as the most common neurological disorder affecting children and one of the most common developmental disabilities.

Lyme Disease

2,000 cases of Lyme Disease cases in Canada each year.

Cerebral Palsy

Affects between one in 500 and one in 1,000 newborns.

Other Facts

60% of Canadians are concerned about themselves or their family members getting a critical illness.

79% of Canadians said that they would have to change their lifestyle if they became ill or were unable to work.

52% of employed Canadians would use their retirement money and work longer than planned to deal with major illness costs.

48% of home foreclosures are due to a serious illness or disability.

$800,000,000 in retirement savings were liquidated in 2000 due to major illnesses.

72% of Canadians recognize that provincial governments are not able to pick up all the medical costs associated with a critical illness.