Disparities in cancer outcomes are evident among the Canadian provinces. Cancer mortality rates are lower in the Western provinces and Ontario and higher in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces. Mortality-to-incidence ratios (MIRs) are lower in Ontario, Quebec, and the Atlantic provinces than in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan, indicating better cancer mortality outcomes.
Out of the five cancer types examined in Mortality Due to Cancer: Understanding the Drivers of Variability in Interprovincial Cancer Mortality, lung cancer has the highest mortality rates and MIRs across the provinces. This primer also explores the potential contributions of various contextual (e.g., socio-demographics, population-based behavioural and non-behavioural risk factors) and system-level factors (e.g., healthcare resource availability, healthcare funding allocations) to the differences in cancer mortality outcomes among Canadian provinces. This knowledge will help identify specific opportunities for the provinces and their health system stakeholders to implement system-level changes necessary to address inequities in cancer care access.