Colorectal cancer is cancer that forms in the colon or in the rectum. Currently, colorectal cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. There are approximately 150,000 new cases of colorectal cancer, with about 50,000 deaths occurring annually. . In South Carolina, we estimate around 2,200 new cases of CRC diagnosed annually, and ~850 deaths will occur (1-4). Though there has been a decline in overall CRC incidence and mortality rates over the past two decades due to improvements in prevention, screening, and treatment, many remain unscreened. This is particularly true in the African American community, which continues to suffer from unacceptably high death rates (3,5,6)
Colorectal cancer affects more people than you realize.
According to the National Cancer Institute, 1 in 22 (4.49%) men7 and 1 in 24 (4.15%) women8 are at risk for developing colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
Colorectal cancer is not limited to older adults.
A recent study completed by the American Cancer Society shows that while colorectal cancer deaths among adults ages 50+ has decreased due to screening, it has steadily increased in adults ages 20 to 54 since the mid-2000s1. Research is currently being done across the country to better understand factors that may influence this increase9.
1 Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Garshell J, Miller D, Altekruse SF, Kosary CL, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z,Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2011, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2011/, based on November 2013 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2014.
2 Cancer Facts and Figures for African Americans 2009-2010. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2009 Contract No.: Document Number|.
3 Daguise VG, Burch JB, Horner MJ, Mosley C, Hofseth LJ, Wargovich MJ, et al. Colorectal cancer disparities in South Carolina: descriptive epidemiology, screening, special programs, and future direction. Journal of the South Carolina Medical Association (1975). 2006;102(7):212-20.
4 Cancer Facts and Figures 2007-2008. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2007 Contract No.: Document Number|.
5 Cancer Facts and Figures for African Americans 2007-2008. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2007 Contract No.: Document Number|.
6 Jemal A, Siegel R, Xu J, Ward E. Cancer statistics, 2010. CA Cancer J Clin.60(5):277-300.
9 Colorectal Cancer Incidence Patterns in the United States, 1974–2013: Rebecca L. Siegel, Stacey A. Fedewa, William F. Anderson, Kimberly D. Miller, Jiemin Ma, Philip S. Rosenberg, Ahmedin Jemal, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Volume 109, Issue 8, 1 August 2017, djw322, https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djw322