The Canadian Cancer Society and the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation announced on Friday plans to merge by early 2017.

In a joint statement released on Thursday, the two organizations said they are merging in order to have “greater impact” on cancer research and support programs.

“Put simply, we are stronger together,” said Robert Lawrie, Chair of the Canadian Cancer Society Board of Directors. “The impact of each of these two organizations is substantial, and bringing them together will have so many benefits for Canadians. It will improve our performance, increase opportunities, reduce costs, expand resources, enhance advocacy efforts and allow more funds to be directed to cancer research and support.”

The two national health charities plan to amalgamate under the Canadian Cancer Society banner.

Valerie Steele, Chair of the CBCF Board of Directors, said in the statement that the merger couldn’t come at a better time.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, an estimated 202,400 new cases of cancer and 78,800 deaths from cancer will occur in Canada this year.

By 2030, the number of cancer cases in Canada is expected to rise by 40 per cent, largely due to the aging population.

This surge in cancer cases will bring with it increasing demand for services, programs and research.

“This amalgamation is timely and will help meet increased demands for support and research and advance our shared vision of a world where no Canadian fears cancer,” Steele said.

The Canadian Cancer Society also announced on Friday the appointment of Lynne Hudson as President and CEO, effective immediately.

She will lead both CBCF and the Canadian Cancer Society through the process.

The proposed merger is expected to be finalized by February 1, 2017, but it still needs the appropriate approvals.

In the meantime, each organization will continue to operate as usual.