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2017 Canadian Cancer statistics

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Colorectal Cancer Canada (“CCC”) has reviewed the 2017 Canadian Cancer Statistics issued by the Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries. Specifically, we have summarized the statistics concerning colorectal cancer. We have presented this information in a comprehensive manner but should you wish to view the publication concerning all statistics, it can be found on our website at www.colorectalcancercanada.com in the Cancer Stats section under Just the Facts or at www.cancer.ca

Colorectal Cancer Stats

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cancer accounting for 13% of all cancers. Starting from the mid-1980s, incidence rates declined for both sexes until the mid-1990s (although this decline was more prominent for females). Incidence rates then rose through 2000, only to decline slightly thereafter, most likely due to increased use of colorectal cancer screening, which can identify and remove precancerous polyps, which can in turn reduce incidence. The decline in colorectal cancer incidence rates appears confined to older adults as rates are increasing among young adults under the age of 50 years in Canada and in the United States. Diabetes may also increase risk for colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer is also linked to several modifiable risk factors including • Physical inactivity • Obesity • Consumption of red and processed meat • Smoking

As of 2017, all 10 provinces had implemented or are in the process of implementing organized colorectal cancer screening programs.

The CCC is emphasizing more than ever the importance of primary prevention and timely screening. The CCC recommends daily regular physical exercise and maintaining a healthy body weight, smoking cessation, reducing alcohol consumption, a healthy diet low in red meat consumption and high intake of vegetables, legumes, fruit and grains. (See our Risk Factor Section to determine what you can do to reduce your risk of getting colorectal cancer.)

If you are between the ages of 50-74 and are of average risk, it is important that you be screened at least every two years with a fecal occult blood test (FOBT) or fecal immunochemical test (FIT). A colonoscopy may be appropriate in certain circumstances and in particular it may be influenced by your history and your family history. It is, therefore, important to discuss your screening plan with your physician.

New Cases

In 2017, 1 in 13 men and 1 in 16 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This amounts to approximately 26,800 [about 14,900 (55.6%) men and 11,900 (44.4%) women] Canadian new cases of colorectal cancer. In comparison to the total cancer figures for Canada, for men the incidence of colorectal cancer represents 14.5% of all new cancers and for women it represents 11.6% of all new cancers. In males, colorectal cancer and lung cancer are the most common cancers, each accounting for approximately 14% of all new male cases. In females, lung cancer is the second most common cancer, representing 14% of all new female cases followed by colorectal cancer representing approximately 12% of all new female cases.

  • 15 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 0-19 years
  • 95 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 20-29 years
  • 350 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 30-39 years
  • 1,150 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 40-49 years
  • 3,800 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 50-59 years
  • 7,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 60-69 years
  • 7,800 new cases will be diagnosed this year between the ages of 70-79 years
  • 6,700 new cases will be diagnosed this year over the age of 80 years-*-*

Deaths

Colorectal cancer deaths are continuing to decline in both men and women. This year there will be approximately 9,400 Canadians who will die from the disease [about 5,100 (54.3%) men and 4,300 (45.7%) women].

Colorectal cancer is the second most likely cause of death for males with a 1 in 29 chance of dying from it. It is the third most common cause of death for females with a 1 in 34 chance of dying from it. It accounts for 12% of all cancer deaths.

The death rate from colorectal cancer continues to decline for both men (2.3% per year) and women (1.7% per year). This is likely due to improvements in treatments and diagnosis. The declines in colorectal cancer death rates are consistent with a relatively large contribution from screening and with a smaller impact of risk factor reductions. In Canada, higher colorectal cnacer death rates have been seen in areas of lower income despite universal access to healthcare. Physical activity is associated with a reduction in colorectal cancer mortality.

Colorectal cancer death rates are highest in Newfoundland and Labrador for men and in Newfoundland and Labrador and PEI for women. Newfoundland and Labrador also has the highest incidence rate of colorectal cancer for men and women.

0.16% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 20-29 years

0.69% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 30-39 years

2.77% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 40-49 years

9.68% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 50-59 years

20.21% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 60-69 years

27.66% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals between the ages of 70-79 years

39.36% of the deaths from colorectal cancer will be individuals over the age of 80 years

The survival rate for colorectal cancer ranges from 60% to 62% in all provinces except Ontario (67%)

Survival estimates for colorectal cancer are consistent at 68% among people diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 69 years then decrease with advancing age. Improvements in colorectal cancer survival is mainly due to the increased use of screening and early detection that have helped identify cancers at a treatable stage.

Geography

Colorectal cancer incidence rates for both men and women are highest in Newfoundland and Labrador. For women, the second highest rates were observed in Nova Scotia, while the second highest rates among men were seen in Saskatchewan. The lowest rates for men and women are expected in British Columbia and Alberta.

CANADA

26,800 (about 14,900 men and 11,900 women) estimated new colorectal cancer cases nationally and 9,400 Canadians will die from the disease (about 5,100 men and 4,300 women)

Source: Canadian CaCanadian Cancer Statistics 2017 – Canadian Cancer Society, Statistics Canada, Provincial/Territorial Cancer Registries, Public Health Agency of Canada.