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Colorectal cancer is the 2nd most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). It is the 2nd leading cause of death from cancer in men and the 3rd leading cause of death from cancer in women in Canada.
To provide the most current cancer statistics, statistical methods are used to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.
Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer.
It is estimated that in 2016:
Incidence rate (for every 100,000 people)*
Death rate (for every 100,000 people)*
5-year net survival (estimates for 2006–2008)
*Age-standardized to the 2011 Canadian Standard Population. Age-standardization is a statistical method that removes the effect of age on the calculated rate. It allows rates to be compared over time or across provinces and territories.
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 decrease slightly thereafter. This is most likely due to increased use of colorectal cancer screening which can identify and remove precancerous polyps, which can in turn reduce incidence.
Death rates have been declining between 2003 and 2012 for both males and females. Most of this decline is likely driven by improved diagnosis and treatment.
Chances (probability) of developing or dying from colorectal cancer
Based on 2010 estimates:
For more information, go to the Canadian Cancer Statistics publication.