Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Estimated New Cases in 2018 140,250

% of All New Cancer Cases 8.1%

Estimated Deaths in 2018 50,630

% of All Cancer Deaths 8.3%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

64.5% 2008-2014
Year New Cases - SEER 9 New Cases - SEER 13 Deaths - U.S. Percent Surviving 5 Years - SEER 9
1975 59.5 - 28.1 48.6%
1976 61.3 - 28.6 50.6%
1977 62.4 - 28.2 50.3%
1978 62.0 - 28.5 50.8%
1979 62.4 - 28.1 51.7%
1980 63.8 - 28.1 51.2%
1981 64.2 - 27.5 53.9%
1982 62.8 - 27.2 53.9%
1983 63.7 - 27.1 54.3%
1984 64.8 - 27.3 55.0%
1985 66.3 - 26.9 58.1%
1986 64.2 - 26.2 59.9%
1987 62.7 - 25.9 59.4%
1988 61.4 - 25.3 59.5%
1989 61.7 - 25.0 59.9%
1990 60.7 - 24.6 60.8%
1991 59.5 - 24.0 61.6%
1992 58.0 56.7 23.6 61.1%
1993 56.8 55.5 23.3 59.8%
1994 55.6 54.5 22.9 60.2%
1995 54.1 53.2 22.6 59.7%
1996 54.8 53.9 21.9 62.5%
1997 56.4 55.3 21.5 61.5%
1998 56.8 56.0 21.2 63.3%
1999 55.5 54.3 20.9 64.5%
2000 54.1 53.3 20.7 64.8%
2001 53.6 52.6 20.2 66.1%
2002 53.2 51.7 19.8 66.3%
2003 50.8 50.1 19.1 65.4%
2004 49.9 48.5 18.1 65.8%
2005 47.8 47.3 17.6 66.2%
2006 46.9 46.7 17.3 66.2%
2007 46.4 46.0 16.9 66.7%
2008 45.3 45.2 16.5 67.4%
2009 43.3 43.1 15.8 66.5%
2010 41.0 40.9 15.5 66.2%
2011 39.7 39.6 15.1 -
2012 38.8 38.3 14.7 -
2013 37.5 37.1 14.5 -
2014 38.6 37.8 14.1 -
2015 37.0 36.5 14.0 -

Number of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The number of new cases of colorectal cancer was 39.4 per 100,000 men and women per year. The number of deaths was 14.5 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2011-2015 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 4.2 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2013-2015 data.

Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2015, there were an estimated 1,332,085 people living with colorectal cancer in the United States.

Survival Statistics

How Many People Survive 5 Years Or More after Being Diagnosed with Colorectal Cancer?

Relative survival statistics compare the survival of patients diagnosed with cancer with the survival of people in the general population who are the same age, race, and sex and who have not been diagnosed with cancer. Because survival statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. No two patients are entirely alike, and treatment and responses to treatment can vary greatly.

64.5%

Percent Surviving
5 Years

64.5%

Based on data from SEER 18 2008-2014. Gray figures represent those who have died from colorectal cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

Additional Information

Survival by Stage

Cancer stage at diagnosis, which refers to extent of a cancer in the body, determines treatment options and has a strong influence on the length of survival. In general, if the cancer is found only in the part of the body where it started it is localized (sometimes referred to as stage 1). If it has spread to a different part of the body, the stage is regional or distant. The earlier colorectal cancer is caught, the better chance a person has of surviving five years after being diagnosed. For colorectal cancer, 39.0% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year survival for localized colorectal cancer is 89.8%.

Percent of Cases & 5-Year Relative Survival by Stage at Diagnosis: Colorectal Cancer
Stage Percent of Cases 5-Year Relative Survival
Localized
Confined to Primary Site
39% 89.8%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
35% 71.1%
Distant
Cancer has Metastasized
21% 13.8%
Unknown
Unstaged
4% 35.0%

SEER 18 2008-2014, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000

Additional Information

Number of New Cases and Deaths

How Common Is This Cancer?

Compared to other cancers, colorectal cancer is fairly common.

Rank Common Types of Cancer Estimated New
Cases 2018
Estimated
Deaths 2018
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 266,120 40,920
2. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 234,030 154,050
3. Prostate Cancer 164,690 29,430
4. Colorectal Cancer 140,250 50,630
5. Melanoma of the Skin 91,270 9,320
6. Bladder Cancer 81,190 17,240
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 74,680 19,910
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 65,340 14,970
9. Uterine Cancer 63,230 11,350
10. Leukemia 60,300 24,370

Colorectal cancer represents 8.1% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

8.1%

In 2018, it is estimated that there will be 140,250 new cases of colorectal cancer and an estimated 50,630 people will die of this disease.

Who Gets This Cancer?

Colorectal cancer is more common in men than women and among those of African American descent. The number of new cases of colorectal cancer was 39.4 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 cases.

Number of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer
Males
All Races 45.2
White 44.4
Black 55.5
Asian/Pacific Islander 39.3
American Indian/Alaska Native 45.1
Hispanic 39.7
Non-Hispanic 46.2
Females
All Races 34.5
White 34.0
Black 41.9
Asian/Pacific Islander 28.0
American Indian/Alaska Native 39.2
Hispanic 28.6
Non-Hispanic 35.5

SEER 18 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 0.2%
20-34 1.6%
35-44 4.4%
45-54 15.0%
55-64 22.6%
65-74 24.3%
75-84 20.6%
>84 11.4%

Colorectal cancer is most frequently diagnosed among people aged 65-74.

Median Age
At Diagnosis

67

SEER 18 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes

Who Dies From This Cancer?

For colorectal cancer, death rates increase with age. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. The number of deaths was 14.5 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2011-2015 deaths.

Number of Deaths per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer
Males
All Races 17.3
White 16.8
Black 24.4
Asian/Pacific Islander 12.1
American Indian/Alaska Native 20.2
Hispanic 14.7
Non-Hispanic 17.6
Females
All Races 12.2
White 11.9
Black 16.1
Asian/Pacific Islander 8.6
American Indian/Alaska Native 13.6
Hispanic 9.0
Non-Hispanic 12.5

U.S. 2011-2015, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.0%
20-34 0.7%
35-44 2.6%
45-54 9.4%
55-64 18.6%
65-74 22.8%
75-84 24.8%
>84 21.0%

The percent of colorectal cancer deaths is highest among people aged 75-84.

Median Age
At Death

73

U.S. 2011-2015, All Races, Both Sexes

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track of the number of new cases, deaths, and survival over time (trends) can help scientists understand whether progress is being made and where additional research is needed to address challenges, such as improving screening or finding better treatments.

Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new colorectal cancer cases have been falling on average 2.6% each year over the last 10 years. Death rates have been falling on average 2.4% each year over 2006-2015. 5-year survival trends are shown below.

More About This Cancer

Cancer and the Colon and Rectum

Figure: Anatomy of the Lower Digestive System

Figure: Gastrointestinal (digestive) system anatomy; shows esophagus, liver, stomach, colon, small intestine, rectum, and anus.

Did You Know? Video Series

Cancer that begins in the colon is called colon cancer, and cancer that begins in the rectum is called rectal cancer. Cancer that starts in either of these organs may also be called colorectal cancer.

The digestive system is made up of the esophagus, stomach, and the small and large intestines. The first 6 feet of the large intestine are called the large bowel or colon. The last 6 inches are the rectum and the anal canal.

Additional Information

More Information

Here are some resources for learning more about colorectal cancer.

References

All statistics in this report are based on statistics from SEER and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. Most can be found within:

Noone AM, Howlader N, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2015, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2015/, based on November 2017 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2018.

Suggested Citation

All material in this report is in the public domain and may be reproduced or copied without permission; citation as to source, however, is appreciated.

SEER Cancer Stat Facts: Colorectal Cancer. National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/colorect.html

These stat facts focus on population statistics that are based on the U.S. population. Because these statistics are based on large groups of people, they cannot be used to predict exactly what will happen to an individual patient. To see tailored statistics, browse the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. To see statistics for a specific state, go to the State Cancer Profiles.

The statistics presented in these stat facts are based on the most recent data available, most of which can be found in the SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In some cases, different year spans may be used. Estimates for the current year are based on past data.

Cancer is a complex topic. There is a wide range of information available. These stat facts do not address causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, follow-up care, or decision making, although links are provided to information in many of these areas.