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Colorectal Cancer

Colon Cancer Statistics 

  • Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States. 
  • The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancer cases in the United States for 2023 were:
  • 106,970 new cases of colon cancer
  • 46,050 new cases of rectal cancer

Deaths from Colorectal Cancer

  • In the United States, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths when men and women are combined. It was expected to cause about 52,550 deaths during 2023.
  • The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in both men and women for several decades. There are a few likely reasons for this.
  •  One reason is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers.
  • or cancers are being found earlier when they are easier to treat. 
  • In addition, treatments for colorectal cancer have improved over the last few decades. As a result, there are now more than 1.5 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States. 

Although the overall death rate has continued to drop, deaths from colorectal cancer among people younger than 55 have increased 1% per year from 2008 to 2017.

Colorectal cancer starts in the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer are often grouped together because they have many features in common. Cancer starts when cells in the body start to grow out of control.

To understand colorectal cancer, it helps to know about the normal structure and function of the colon and rectum. The colon and rectum make up the large intestine. Most of the large intestine is made up of the colon, a muscular tube about 5 feet long. The parts of the colon are named by which way the food is traveling through them. Ascending colon, transverse colon, descending colon and the sigmoid.

The colon works by absorbing water and salt from the remaining food matter after it goes through the small intestine. The waste matter that’s left after going through the colon goes into the rectum, the final 6 inches of the digestive system where it is stored until it passes through the anus during a bowel movement.

Most colorectal cancers start as a growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum. These growths are called polyps. Some types of polyps can change into cancer over time (usually many years), but not all polyps become cancer. The chance of a polyp turning into cancer depends on the type of polyp it is.

If cancer forms in a polyp, it can grow into the wall of the colon or rectum over time. When cancer cells are in the wall, they can then grow into blood vessels or lymph vessels. From there, they can travel to nearby lymph nodes or to distant parts of the body.

There are several symptoms of colorectal cancer. It could be a change in bowel habits. Blood in or on your stool (bowel movement). Diarrhea, constipation, or feeling that the bowel does not empty all the way. Abdominal pain, aches, or cramps that don’t go away. Weight loss and you don’t know why. All these symptoms may be ones of colorectal cancer.  If you have any of these symptoms, be sure to see your doctor right away.

You can reduce the risk factor by making these changes. If you are overweight, you should take action to lose the extra pounds. Start being more physically active. Reduce consumption of alcohol, high fat foods, fried and processed meats. Increase the vitamin D in your blood levels. If you smoke, it would be good  to quit.

Colorectal cancer risks that cannot be changed would be being older. A personal or family history of inflammatory bowel disease, adenomatous or colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer. Having an inherited syndrome such as Lynch syndrome, Hereditary non-polyposis colorectal cancer or HNPCC and familial polyposis, also known as FAP.

There’s no sure way to prevent colorectal cancer. But there are things you can do that might help lower your risk, such as changing the risk factors that you can control as mentioned earlier.

Colorectal cancer screening is the process of looking for cancer or pre-cancer in people who have no symptoms of the disease. Regular colorectal cancer screening is one of the most powerful tools for preventing colorectal cancer. If you’re age 50 or older, you should start getting screened for colorectal cancer. Several types of tests can be used. Talk to your health care provider about which ones might be good options for you. No matter which test you choose, the most important thing is to get tested.

If you believe we can help you, please visit us at or call us at 772 932-9310 to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to being of service to you!