OSF Saint Anthony's Health Center

Alton, Illinois

Colorectal Cancer

In both men and women, colorectal cancer is the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer with an estimated 134,490 new cases identified in 2016, according to the National Cancer Institute. The key to survival, as with all cancers, is early detection.

The American Cancer Society recommends maintaining a wealthy weight by adopting a physically active lifestyle and a healthy diet. You should also limit your consumption of alcohol and avoid tobacco products. But most importantly, get screened regularly. Early detection is the key to survival.

Screening Guidelines

Colonoscopies are recommended for anyone age 50 or older. Your doctor may recommend earlier screenings if you have a family history.

Things to Know

Here are some key things to know, according to the National Cancer Institute, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, American Cancer Society:

  • Colorectal cancer is the No. 2 leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the U.S. combined.
  • Colorectal cancer accounts for nearly 10 percent of cancer deaths in the U.S.
  • 1 in 3 adults aged 50-75 are NOT up-to-date with recommended colorectal cancer screening.
  • The median age at diagnosis is 69 years old.
  • 1 in 20 (around 5 percent) men and women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer in their lifetime.
  • African Americans are more likely to develop colorectal cancer. Screening rates are lower than average in this group so members are more likely to be diagnosed after the cancer has spread to other organs.
  • The estimated direct medical cost of colorectal cancer care in 2010 was $14 billion.
  • Those less-likely to get tested include Hispanics, people aged 50-64, men, American Indian or Alaska natives, those in rural areas and people with lower education and income.

And there’s good news:

  • In March 2014, American Cancer Society released data showing colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the U.S. in the last 10 years among adults ages 50 and older due to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy, with the largest decrease occurring in those ages 65 and older. Source
  • In January of 2013, the American Cancer Society reported a 30 percent decrease in the mortality rate for colorectal cancer.
  • There has been a decline in lives lost to cancer (1991 to 2009) and we have seen a 30 percent decrease in the mortality rate for colorectal cancer.
  • The likelihood of dying from colorectal cancer has been decreasing due to screening.
  • There are more than 1 million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.
  • Over 60 percent of deaths from colorectal cancer could be avoided with screening.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention created the Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) and provided the necessary funds to establish colorectal cancer programs in 25 states and 4 tribes across the United States.
  • The Screen for Life: National Colorectal Cancer Action Campaign launched in 1999 to encourages men and women aged 50 years or older to be screened regularly for colorectal cancer.

OSF Saint Anthony’s Statistics

• 36% of the total analytic colorectal cancer cases diagnosed at OSF Saint Anthony’s are stage 3.

• 18% of the total analytic colorectal cancer cases diagnosed at OSF Saint Anthony’s are at stage 1. That same statistic is true for stages 2 and 4, respectively.

Analytic Cases: Patients initially diagnosed at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center or received all or part of their first course of therapy at OSF Saint Anthony’s Health Center.