Statistics at a Glance

At a Glance

Estimated New Cases in 2021 149,500

% of All New Cancer Cases 7.9%

Estimated Deaths in 2021 52,980

% of All Cancer Deaths 8.7%

5-Year
Relative Survival

64.7% 2011–2017
Year Rate of New Cases — SEER 9 Rate of New Cases — SEER 13 Death Rate — U.S. 5-Year Relative Survival — SEER 9
Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend Observed Modeled Trend
1975 59.54 60.54 - - 28.09 28.23 48.85% 48.03%
1976 61.34 61.03 - - 28.58 28.29 50.84% 49.00%
1977 62.39 61.52 - - 28.19 28.34 50.52% 49.96%
1978 62.04 62.02 - - 28.54 28.40 51.01% 50.92%
1979 62.37 62.52 - - 28.15 28.16 51.98% 51.86%
1980 63.75 63.02 - - 28.05 27.93 51.40% 52.80%
1981 64.24 63.53 - - 27.52 27.70 54.12% 53.72%
1982 62.78 64.04 - - 27.24 27.48 54.09% 54.64%
1983 63.66 64.56 - - 27.12 27.25 54.56% 55.54%
1984 64.80 65.08 - - 27.35 27.03 55.26% 56.44%
1985 66.30 65.60 - - 26.93 26.80 58.30% 57.33%
1986 64.18 64.41 - - 26.16 26.33 60.04% 58.20%
1987 62.74 63.25 - - 25.89 25.86 59.56% 59.07%
1988 61.38 62.10 - - 25.28 25.41 59.67% 59.92%
1989 61.70 60.98 - - 25.01 24.96 60.10% 60.76%
1990 60.70 59.87 - - 24.65 24.52 61.01% 61.59%
1991 59.48 58.79 - - 24.01 24.08 61.79% 61.32%
1992 58.00 57.73 56.73 56.75 23.62 23.66 61.26% 61.04%
1993 56.79 56.68 55.55 55.55 23.31 23.24 59.98% 60.77%
1994 55.64 55.65 54.46 54.38 22.92 22.83 60.38% 60.49%
1995 54.06 54.65 53.21 53.23 22.59 22.43 59.96% 60.22%
1996 54.78 55.44 53.90 54.10 21.86 22.03 62.74% 61.23%
1997 56.41 56.26 55.30 54.98 21.47 21.64 61.64% 62.22%
1998 56.81 57.08 56.00 55.88 21.19 21.26 63.53% 63.19%
1999 55.48 55.76 54.32 54.66 20.93 20.88 64.77% 64.15%
2000 54.15 54.48 53.27 53.47 20.67 20.51 65.09% 65.09%
2001 53.62 53.22 52.57 52.30 20.16 20.15 66.33% 66.01%
2002 53.18 52.00 51.70 51.16 19.76 19.80 66.56% 66.13%
2003 50.84 50.80 50.11 50.04 19.15 19.05 65.66% 66.25%
2004 49.92 49.63 48.55 48.95 18.10 18.33 66.09% 66.37%
2005 47.85 48.49 47.31 47.88 17.56 17.64 66.63% 66.49%
2006 46.90 47.37 46.70 46.84 17.28 17.20 66.48% 66.61%
2007 46.40 46.28 46.00 45.82 16.91 16.76 67.05% 66.73%
2008 45.30 45.21 45.20 44.82 16.46 16.33 67.86% 66.85%
2009 43.31 43.23 43.08 43.00 15.81 15.92 67.01% 66.97%
2010 41.00 41.33 40.96 41.26 15.51 15.52 66.72% 67.08%
2011 39.68 39.52 39.64 39.59 15.12 15.12 66.15% 67.20%
2012 38.87 38.99 38.41 37.99 14.70 14.74 65.84% 67.32%
2013 37.59 38.46 37.22 37.78 14.48 14.47 66.25% 67.43%
2014 38.66 37.94 37.95 37.56 14.12 14.20 - 67.55%
2015 37.32 37.43 36.95 37.35 14.02 13.94 - 67.67%
2016 38.03 36.93 37.32 37.14 13.69 13.69 - 67.78%
2017 36.60 36.43 36.08 35.98 13.48 13.43 - 67.90%
2018 35.02 35.94 34.80 34.85 13.13 13.19 - 68.01%

New cases come from SEER 13. Deaths come from U.S. Mortality.
All Races, Both Sexes. Rates are Age-Adjusted.
Modeled trend lines were calculated from the underlying rates using the Joinpoint Trend Analysis Software.

New cases are also referred to as incident cases in other publications. Rates of new cases are also referred to as incidence rates.


Rate of New Cases and Deaths per 100,000: The rate of new cases of colorectal cancer was 37.8 per 100,000 men and women per year. The death rate was 13.7 per 100,000 men and women per year. These rates are age-adjusted and based on 2014–2018 cases and deaths.

Lifetime Risk of Developing Cancer: Approximately 4.1 percent of men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point during their lifetime, based on 2016–2018 data.

Prevalence of This Cancer: In 2018, there were an estimated 1,365,135 people living with colorectal cancer in the United States.

Did You Know? Video Series

Survival Statistics

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

Relative survival is an estimate of the percentage of patients who would be expected to survive the effects of their cancer. It excludes the risk of dying from other causes. 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.

64.7%

5-Year
Relative Survival

64.7%

Based on data from SEER 18 2011–2017. Gray figures represent those who have died from colorectal cancer. Green figures represent those who have survived 5 years or more.

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, 37.5% are diagnosed at the local stage. The 5-year relative survival for localized colorectal cancer is 90.6%.

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
37% 90.6%
Regional
Spread to Regional Lymph Nodes
36% 72.2%
Distant
Cancer Has Metastasized
22% 14.7%
Unknown
Unstaged
5% 39.0%

SEER 18 2011–2017, All Races, Both Sexes by SEER Summary Stage 2000

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 2021
Estimated
Deaths 2021
1. Breast Cancer (Female) 281,550 43,600
2. Prostate Cancer 248,530 34,130
3. Lung and Bronchus Cancer 235,760 131,880
4. Colorectal Cancer 149,500 52,980
5. Melanoma of the Skin 106,110 7,180
6. Bladder Cancer 83,730 17,200
7. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma 81,560 20,720
8. Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer 76,080 13,780
9. Uterine Cancer 66,570 12,940
10. Leukemia 61,090 23,660

Colorectal cancer represents 7.9% of all new cancer cases in the U.S.

7.9%

In 2021, it is estimated that there will be 149,500 new cases of colorectal cancer and an estimated 52,980 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 rate of new cases of colorectal cancer was 37.8 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2014–2018 cases, age-adjusted.

Rate of New Cases per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer
Males
All Races 43.2
White 42.5
Black 49.9
Asian/Pacific Islander 37.1
American Indian/Alaska Native 39.6
Hispanic 39.5
Non-Hispanic 43.9
Females
All Races 33.3
White 33.0
Black 37.5
Asian/Pacific Islander 26.5
American Indian/Alaska Native 37.5
Hispanic 29.3
Non-Hispanic 33.9

SEER 21 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of New Cases by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer
Age Range Percent of New Cases
<20 0.3%
20–34 1.9%
35–44 4.6%
45–54 15.1%
55–64 22.4%
65–74 24.8%
75–84 19.6%
>84 11.2%

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

Median Age
At Diagnosis

67

SEER 21 2014–2018, 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 death rate was 13.7 per 100,000 men and women per year based on 2014–2018 deaths, age-adjusted.

Death Rate per 100,000 Persons by Race/Ethnicity & Sex: Colorectal Cancer
Males
All Races 16.3
White 15.9
Black 22.5
Asian/Pacific Islander 11.2
American Indian/Alaska Native 18.5
Hispanic 14.0
Non-Hispanic 16.6
Females
All Races 11.5
White 11.3
Black 14.8
Asian/Pacific Islander 7.9
American Indian/Alaska Native 12.4
Hispanic 8.6
Non-Hispanic 11.8

U.S. 2014–2018, Age-Adjusted

Percent of Deaths by Age Group: Colorectal Cancer
Age Range Percent of Deaths
<20 0.0%
20–34 0.7%
35–44 2.7%
45–54 9.3%
55–64 19.1%
65–74 23.9%
75–84 23.7%
>84 20.6%

The percent of colorectal cancer deaths is highest among people aged 65–74.

Median Age
At Death

72

U.S. 2014–2018, All Races, Both Sexes

Trends in Rates

Changes Over Time

Keeping track 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, age-adjusted rates for new colorectal cancer cases have been falling on average 2.0% each year over 2009–2018. Age-adjusted death rates have been falling on average 2.1% each year over 2009–2018. 5-year relative survival trends are shown below.

Interactive Statistics with SEER*Explorer

With SEER*Explorer, you can...
  • Create custom graphs and tables
  • Download data and images
  • Share links to results

SEER*Explorer is an interactive website that provides easy access to a wide range of SEER cancer statistics. It provides detailed statistics for a cancer site by gender, race, calendar year, age, and for a selected number of cancer sites, by stage and histology.

Explore Additional Colorectal Cancer Statistics

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.

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 SEER*Explorer.

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 SEER*Explorer. 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 SEER*Explorer. In some cases, different year spans may be used.

Estimates of new cases and deaths for 2021 are projections made by the American Cancer Society (ACS), based on earlier reported 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.