According to the American Cancer Society, excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.
Below are more eye-opening numbers about colorectal cancer:
- There are 95,520 new cases of colon cancer and 39,910 new cases of rectal cancer each year.
- The lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 21 (4.7 percent) for men and 1 in 23 (4.4 percent) for women.
- Colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women in the United States and the second leading cause in men.
- It is expected to cause about 50,260 deaths during 2017.
The death rate (the number of deaths per 100,000 people per year) from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. One reason is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers or are being found earlier when the disease is easier to treat.
As a result, there are now more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
Mary Carson, RN, OCN, is Practice Manager with the Brevard Cancer & Infusion Center at Transylvania Regional Hospital.