New Colorectal Cancer Cases Dropping in 2010

In 2010, experts predict that 4,400 fewer Americans will be diagnosed with colon and rectal cancer than in 2009.

According to new American Cancer Society statistics for 2010, 142,570 people will hear the difficult words, “You have colorectal cancer”, down from 146,970 in 2009.

Still, 51,370 families will get painful news when loved ones die from colorectal cancer.

Continuing this year, African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer than whites and other races, to die of it, and to have poorer survival at every stage of the disease.

Each year the American Cancer Society estimates the number of new cases and deaths from cancer expected in the United States in that year.  They study trends in cancer rates and look at the impact of various types of cancer.

In 2010 colorectal cancer will again be the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in men and women and the second most common cause of cancer death.

2010 Colon and Rectal Cancer


  • In 2010, 102,900 new cases of colon cancer and 39,670 cases of rectal cancer will be diagnosed for a total of 142,570.
  • This is a reduction of 4,400 new cases over last year’s estimate of 146,970.
  • 72,090 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer (9 percent of all cancers) and 70,480 women (10 percent of the total).
  • Incidence rates are projected at 59.0 per 100,000 men and 43.6 per 100,000 women a decrease from 61.2 for men and 44.8 for women in 2009.
  • Over a lifetime, 1 in 19 men and 1 in 20 women will develop colon or rectal cancer.


Although the number of deaths from colorectal cancer are expected to increase in 2010, rates for both new cases and deaths continue to go down. As the American population grows and ages, more people are vulnerable to colorectal cancer.

  • 51,370 deaths from colorectal cancer are expected in 2010, up 1,450 from 49,920 in 2009.
  • 26,580 men and 24,790 women will die.
  • After all cancer rates peaked for men in 1990, colorectal cancer death rates dropped by 10.27  per 100,000 men from 30.77  to 20.51, accounting for a third of the decrease in all cancers.
  • For women, cancer rates peaked in 1991.  Since then women’s colorectal cancer death rates have dropped from 20.30 to 14.53, accounting for about 30 percent of the overall cancer death rate decrease.

Five year survival

  • In the years between 1975 and 1977, just over half of people with colorectal cancer lived five years past diagnosis (52 percent).
  • By 1999 through 2005, two out of three would live those five years (66 percent).

African American Disparities

Incidence Rates Per 100,000 by Race and Ethnicity

White African American Asian Pacific Islander American Indian – Alaska Native Hispanic
Men 58.2 68.4 44.1 38.1 50.0
Women 42.6 51.7 33.1 30.7 35.1

Five-Year Survival Percentages by Race

White African American All
Localized 91% 86% 91%
Regional 70% 63% 70%
Distant 12% 8% 11%
All stages 66% 56% 65%

2010 Overall Cancer Burden

  • 1,529,560 new cases of cancer are expected in 2010.
  • 569,490 people will die of cancer.
  • Incidence rates (rates per 100,000 people) have been going down 1.3 percent each year for men in the years 2000 through 2006.
  • For women, incidence decreased by 0.5 percent each year from 1998 through 2006.

graphs of cancer incidence and deathsAlthough the rates of new cancers and cancer deaths are going down, cancer remains the leading killer of people under the age of 85 in the United States.

One in four deaths is due to cancer.

In 2010, 1,529,560 people will be diagnosed with cancer and 569,490 will die.

In reporting cancers statistics for 2010, the ACS team wrote,

Although progress has been made in reducing incidence and mortality rates and improving survival, cancer still accounts for more deaths than heart disease in persons younger than 85 years. Further progress can be accelerated by applying existing cancer control knowledge across all segments of the population and by supporting new discoveries in cancer prevention, early detection, and treatment.

SOURCE: Jemal et al., Cancer Statistics, 2010, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, published online July 7, 2010.

For comparisons to 2009, see Jemal et al., Cancer Statistics 2009, CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians, Volume 59, Number 4, July/August 2009.

Image: Figure #3: Jemal, Cancer Statistics 2009,  CA Cancer J Clin 2010, online July 7, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>