Colon Cancer Facts

Fast Facts on Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal Cancer by the Numbers:

  • It is the second leading cause of male and female cancer-related deaths in Canada.
  • Colon cancer is one of the most preventable forms of cancer. If screened and caught early – the chances of survival increase by 90%.
  • Unfortunately as it stands today, nearly half of those diagnosed find out too late.
  • Colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer.
  • 423 Canadians, on average, are diagnosed with colon cancer every week.
  • 175 Canadians, on average, die of this disease every week.
  • One in 14 men is expected to develop colorectal cancer during his lifetime and one in 27 will die of it.
  • One in 15 women is expected to develop colorectal cancer during her lifetime and one in 31 will die of it.
  • Anyone 50 and up should be screened regardless of family history.

Risk Factors:
There is no “single cause” for developing this disease, but there are several risk factors that include:

  • A family history of colorectal cancer
  • Increasing age (risk increases from the age of 50)
  • Polyps present in the colon or rectum
  • A diet high in fat
  • An inactive lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Change in bowel movements
  • Blood in stool
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Weight loss for no apparent reason
  • Feeling that the bowel is not emptying completely
  • Narrower than usual stools
  • Feelings of weakness or feeling more tired than normal

Source: The Canadian Cancer Society