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Statistical Reports

Cancer in First Nations People in Ontario: Incidence, Mortality, Survival and Prevalence

Oct 2017
Data Type: Surveillance
Publication Series:

We have partnered with the Chiefs of Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences to develop and publish Cancer in First Nations People in Ontario: Incidence, Mortality, Survival and Prevalence.

Highlights of the Report

  • A comprehensive look at cancers diagnosed in First Nations people
  • Overview of the risk factors and symptoms for each cancer type
  • Comparison of rates between First Nations people and other people in Ontario, with information on what the statistics could mean for policies and programs

Key Findings:

  • First Nations people have a higher incidence (new cases) of lung (females), colorectal, kidney, cervical and liver cancers than other people in Ontario. First Nations females also have a higher incidence of cancers of the stomach, gallbladder and vulva.
  • Cancer mortality (death) is significantly higher in First Nations people than in other people in Ontario, particularly for lung, colorectal, kidney, cervical and liver cancers.
  • Less than half of First Nations males (43 percent) and females (49 percent) survived five years or longer after a cancer diagnosis, compared to over half of other males (54 percent) and females (60 percent) in Ontario.


I sit waiting, with others who wait 
Younger, older, some just babies

All are represented, there is no discrimination 
Many fighting back tears, trying to be strong for their loved ones

Trying to smile as their heart quietly breaks 
Their pillows silent and sole witness, as the grief overcomes them in the dark

They watch their loves at night 
Not knowing, what the future holds

If I am gone who will care for them 
Who will love them, wipe their eyes, dry their tears, who will comfort them

The dawn breaks and it is time to begin again 
To smile and laugh, to pretend and hope

To come to this room 
Or a room, somewhere else, very much like this one

Resigned to the diagnosis 
Yes, we all have it, we all know it

We will all fight, many of us will win 
Still, some of us will not

For the winners life will go on, and we will see hope in every sunrise 
We will have won, but we will always fear the unknown, what if it is not done

For the others, the sunrises and sunsets will be few 
And loved ones left behind must find a way to cope, or at least live

For now, we all sit here as survivors, we all have hope 
It is the one thing we cling hardest too

We come into this world crying but with hope, we leave it quietly but with hope 
And we travel the road of life with hope

- Chief R. Stacey Laforme