Colorectal cancer, the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and in women, is projected to cause 52,280 deaths this year, according to the American Cancer Society.
1. The society is forecasting 106,180 new colon cancer cases and 44,850 new rectal cancer cases this year.
2. In 2021, there was a significant increase in advanced-stage colorectal cancer and precancerous growths, called polyps, in adults of all ages compared with 2020. The spike has been attributed to patients delaying care during the COVID-19 pandemic.
3. More than 200,000 Americans are reported to have missed colonoscopy appointments since the pandemic began.
4. The most effective way to reduce the risk of colon cancer is to get screened routinely, beginning at age 45, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.
5. Though colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death in America, it is one of the most preventable cancers, according to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. A colonoscopy is the most thorough screening test for colorectal cancer.
6. Patients have a 90 percent five-year survival rate when colorectal cancer is found at an early stage and 14 percent when cancer is found in an advanced stage and has spread to distant organs.
7. Obesity (defined as a body mass index greater than 30) is linked with a higher risk of 13 types of cancers, including colorectal cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. In men, colorectal cancer is the most common obesity-associated cancer.