BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
Regular colonoscopy exams are essential for catching colon cancer and rectal cancer in their earliest stages. Early detection of colorectal cancer increases your chances of survival. It’s something we stress at all Long Island, NY locations of Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York.
Dr. Dean P. Pappas and his team would like to share some illuminating numbers about colorectal cancer in America today. These facts and figures should emphasize the importance of a healthy diet and regular colorectal exams. Unless otherwise noted, the numbers cited below are from the American Cancer Society.
How Common Is Colorectal Cancer?
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal is the third most diagnosed kind of cancer in the United States. It’s estimated that in 2018, approximately 97,220 people will be diagnosed with colon cancer; in addition, an estimated 43,030 Americans will be diagnosed with rectal cancer. In addition, it is estimated that around 50,630 people will die of the disease in 2018.
Colon cancer is more common than rectal cancer. In all colorectal cancer diagnoses, about 71 percent of cases arise in the colon, and the remaining 29 percent in the rectum.
Gender Risk of Developing Colorectal Cancer
In men, the chances of developing colorectal cancer is about 1 in 22 (4.49 percent). In women, the risk is slightly lower at 1 in 24 (4.15 percent). Keep in mind that gender is just one of many factors that can affect your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Colorectal Cancer and Patient Age
The median age for colorectal cancer diagnosis in men is age 68. In women, the median diagnosis age is 72. With both genders taken into account, the median age is 63.
While colorectal cancer is commonly associated with advanced age, there has been an increase in colorectal cancer diagnoses in people under the age of 50. According to the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, only 6 percent of colorectal cancer diagnoses were for people younger than 50. In 2013, this number increased to 11 percent. Of this number, most cases of colorectal cancer were diagnosed among people in their 40s (72 percent).
Genetics and Colorectal Cancer Risk
Genes play a major role in overall susceptibility to disease. People who have a parent or sibling who developed colorectal cancer are two to three times more likely to develop the condition than people who do not have a family history of the disease. Additionally, statistics have found that colorectal cancer was more likely in African Americans than caucasians. Between 2009 and 2013, colorectal cancer incidents were 20 percent higher among the black population than thew white population; the death rates from colorectal cancer among blacks was 40 percent higher than whites. Genes as well as environmental factors may play a role in these findings.
Colorectal Cancer Survival Rates
Thanks to increased awareness and screenings, survival rates of colorectal cancer have increased. Five-year survival rates for colorectal cancer are as follows:
- 90 percent for colorectal cancer diagnosed at the local stage
- 71 percent for colorectal cancer diagnosed at the regional stage
- 14 percent for colorectal cancer diagnosed at the distant stage
There are approximately 1 million Americans alive today who have survived colorectal cancer.
How Many People Are Screened for Colorectal Cancer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that 67.3 percent of Americans are up to date with their colorectal exams. That’s approximately 3.3 million Americans. If you are due for a colorectal exam, we can help.
Contact Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York
To learn more about treatment and prevention of colorectal cancer and other kinds of colorectal diseases, be sure to contact Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York. Our team of doctors is here to answer your questions and address your concerns. Our Garden City office can be reached by calling (516) 844-0248.