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Key Statistics for Colorectal Cancer

Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in both men and women in the United States.

How common is colorectal cancer?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for the number of colorectal cancers in the United States for 2024 are:

  • About 106,590 new cases of colon cancer (54,210 in men and 52,380 in women)
  • About 46,220 new cases of rectal cancer (27,330 in men and 18,890 in women)

The rate of people being diagnosed with colon or rectal cancer each year has dropped overall since the mid-1980s, mainly because more people are getting screened and changing their lifestyle-related risk factors. From 2011 to 2019, incidence rates dropped by about 1% each year. But this downward trend is mostly in older adults. In people younger than 55 years of age, rates have been increasing by 1% to 2% a year since the mid-1990s.

Lifetime risk of colorectal cancer

Overall, the lifetime risk of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 23 for men and 1 in 25 for women. However, each person’s risk might be higher or lower than this, depending on their risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Deaths from colorectal cancer

In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and the fourth leading cause in women, but it’s the second most common cause of cancer deaths when numbers for men and women are combined. It’s expected to cause about 53,010 deaths during 2024.

The death rate from colorectal cancer has been dropping in older adults for several decades. There are a number of likely reasons for this. One is that colorectal polyps are now being found more often by screening and removed before they can develop into cancers. Screening also results in many colorectal cancers being found earlier, when they are likely to be easier to treat. In addition, treatments for colorectal cancer have improved over the last few decades. In people under 55, however, death rates have been increasing about 1% per year since the mid-2000s.

Statistics related to survival among people with colorectal cancer are discussed in Survival Rates for Colorectal Cancer.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team

Our team is made up of doctors and oncology certified nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as editors and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts & Figures 2024. Atlanta: American Cancer Society; 2024.

American Cancer Society. Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2023-2025. Atlanta, Ga.

Howlader N, Noone AM, Krapcho M, Miller D, Brest A, Yu M, Ruhl J, Tatalovich Z, Mariotto A, Lewis DR, Chen HS, Feuer EJ, Cronin KA (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2018, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, MD, https://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2018/, based on November 2020 SEER data submission, posted to the SEER web site, April 2021.

Miller KD, Nogueira L, Devasia T, Mariotto AB, Yabroff KR, Jemal A, Kramer J, Siegel R. Cancer treatment and survivorship statistics, 2022. CA: Cancer J Clin. DOI: 10.3322/caac.21731. Available at https://acsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/15424863

Last Revised: January 29, 2024

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