The American Cancer Society (ACS) helps find answers to critical questions about colorectal cancer (CRC).
Studying questions like these has helped improve screening and treatment methods, which has contributed to substantial decreases in deaths from colorectal cancer over the past 20 years.
Our staff of full-time researchers and funded scientists across the United States relentlessly search for answers to help us better understand cancer, including colorectal cancer. Here are some highlights of their work.
"One of the rural clinics we talked to said that one of their approaches was to send out the [colorectal cancer screening] information in a format where it actually looked like . . . an auction for cattle and for animals in a way that would grab the farmer’s attention . . . in the mail as opposed to a regular flyer from your doctor’s office.” - Jennifer Weiss, MD, MS
"Insulin resistance increases the risk of obesity and Type 2 diabetes, which are strong risk factors for developing colorectal cancer. . . . For lowering sustained high insulin levels, maximizing green-leafed vegetables versus other vegetables is optimal.” - Fred Tabung, PhD, MSPH
The American Cancer Society funds scientists who conduct research about cancer at medical schools, universities, research institutes, and hospitals throughout the United States. We use a rigorous and independent peer review process to select the most innovative research projects proposals to fund.
The grant statistics to the left are as of January 4, 2023.
The ACS Population Science department includes scientists who work with our large, on-going cancer prevention studies (CPS), such as CPS-II and CPS-3. Some of these studies include analyses about colorectal cancer. Here's a sample of their work.
One aim of ACS Population Science (PopSci) researchers leading Cancer Prevention Study-3 (CPS-3) and Cancer Prevention Study-II (CPS-II) is to learn more about the risks of developing colorectal cancer (CRC) and how to prevent it.
They're particularly interested in better understanding factors that may be contributing to the increasing incidence of early-onset CRC, which is diagnosed before a person is age 50. In fact, ACS PopSci researchers recently created a large consortium study focused on exploring risk factors for early onset CRC. This work has been highlighted in several medical journals.
In addition, the CPS-II and CPS-3 biospecimen management team continues to build a tumor repository, including a collection of CRC tumor samples. Access to these samples supports large collaborations who are studying the link between lifestyle and behavioral factors with specific molecular changes in such tumors.
The CPS-3 Gut Microbiome Sub-Study will also allow PopSci researchers to investigate how the gut microbiome may be related to lifestyle and environmental risk factors of CRC and early-onset CRC.
Listen to this podcast about the trouble increase in early-onset colorectal cancer (CRC) with the former ACS Scientific Director in the Population Science department, Peter Campbell, PhD. As one of the leading researchers in this space, Campbell's work along with the work of other ACS researchers, helped lead to the ACS recommendation to begin CRC screening at age 45 for people at average risk.
Each year's ACS Cancer Facts & Figures includes data about colon and rectal cancers, and every 3 years, there's more in-depth data in Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures. Here's an overview of some of their findings.
"We need to invest more in research to uncover the causes of the rising trends and to discover new treatment for advanced-stage diseases to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with this disease in this young population, who are raising families and supporting other family members." - Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PHD
Each year, the American Cancer Society department of Surveillance and Health Equity Science analyzes data on colon and rectal cancers (also known as colorectal cancers) as part of the ACS Cancer Facts & Figures work. Every 3 years, with support from their research teams, ACS epidemiologists Rebecca Siegel, MPH, and Ahmedin Jemal, DVM, PhD, publish Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures and an accompanying article, “Colorectal Cancer Statistics.”
These publications provide statistics about colorectal cancers (CRCs) and about the use of colorectal cancer screening in the United States.
Here are some key findings.
Find more statistics about colorectal cancer on the Cancer Statistics Center:
Use the analysis tool in the drop-down menu to see any of these statistics in comparison to other types of cancer.