Yael Cohen, 25, is the founder of F*ck Cancer (aka FCancer) at her office in Vancouver, British Columbia, Thursday April 12, 2012.
Credits: CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI AGENCY
Cancer mortality rates dropped 21% in men and 9% in women between 1988 and 2007, the Canadian Cancer Society said.
The decline is attributed to the fact fewer people smoke, as well as improvements in cancer screening and treatments.
Although fewer people are dying from all major cancers - lung, colorectal, breast and prostate - it's still the leading cause of death in the country.
More men than women are diagnosed with cancer, but the gender gap is narrowing - men account for 52% of cancer cases and women 48%.
The narrowing gap is attributed to a quicker drop in smoking rates among men than women.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women and the habit is to blame for about 30% of all cancer deaths, the society said.
"While we have made significant progress in reducing smoking, an enormous amount of work remains to be done," Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst for the Canadian Cancer Society, said in a statement.
The society is calling for cigarettes to be sold in plain packages with health warnings and a ban on flavoured tobacco to try to prevent kids from smoking.
The statistics were released in partnership with the Public Health Agency of Canada and Statistics Canada.