TORONTO, Ontario – The death toll cancer takes in Canada is on the decline.

A new report from the Canadian Cancer Society says close to 100-thousand lives have been saved in Canada over the past 20 years because of the declining cancer death rate.

The report says part of the decline is due to improved treatments for a variety of cancers, but the main driver is the fact that lung cancer is killing fewer Canadian men than it did in earlier decades.

Canadian men turned the tide on smoking in the mid 1960′s, a behavioural change that is now paying off in prevented lung cancers.

Women started giving up or avoiding smoking altogether in the 1980′s, so the decline in lung cancer deaths among women hasn’t started to be seen yet.

Despite the progress, the cancer society says that lung cancer is still the number-one cancer killer of men and women in Canada, claiming 37-thousand lives each year.

The Cancer Society is hoping to see a continued decline in the rates of cancer deaths as the benefits of fewer women smoking start to be seen.