Magnolia Foundation woman in garden / I've been screened...have you?


Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in either the colon or the rectum. Colon cancer and rectal cancer have many features in common.

The American Cancer Society's most recent estimates for colorectal cancer in the United States are for 2009:

  • 106,100 new cases of colon cancer
  • 40,870 new cases of rectal cancer
  • 49,920 deaths from colorectal cancer

Not counting skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer found in men and women in this country. The risk of a person having colorecal cancer in their lifetime is about 1 in 19.

The death rate from colorectal cancer has been going down for the past 15 years. One reason is that there are fewer cases. Thanks to colorectal cancer screening, polyps can be found and removed before they turn into cancer. And colorectal cancer can also be found earlier when it is easier to cure. Treatments have improved, too. But there is still a lot of room for improvement of these figures and many who are not receiving the screenings they need.


American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute


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