COLON Cancer facts and information


An Overview

Colon cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States.

  • 120 million people are living with colon cancer today

  • It is estimated that over 145,000 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year

  • It will take the lives of 51,000 people this year alone

The number of new colorectal cancer cases and the number of deaths are both decreasing each year. However, in adults younger than 50 years, the number of new colorectal cancer cases has slowly increased since 1998.

Finding and treating colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective, may prevent death. The American Cancer Society now recommends that people at average risk start regular screening, beginning at age 45. This can be done either with a sensitive test that looks for signs of cancer in a person’s stool (a stool-based test), or with an exam that looks at the colon and rectum (a visual exam).

Key Numbers

1 in 22 Men and 1 in 24 Women 

Number who will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer at some point in their lifetime

50 and older

The ages at which 90% of new colorectal cancer cases occur


The five-year relative survival rate for colorectal cancer when the disease is diagnosed at an early stage


The percentage of patients diagnosed at an early stage, when colorectal cancer is more easily treatable

Signs and Symptoms

  • A change in bowel habits, including diarrhea/constipation/change in the consistency of stool

  • Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool

  • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain

  • A feeling that your bowel doesn't empty completely

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Unexplained weight loss

Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms do appear, they vary depending on the cancer's size and location in your large intestine.

Please see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms 



The best way to prevent colon cancer is to get screened. There are four tests used to screen for colorectal cancer:

Talk with your doctor about the best option for you.


General information about colon cancer, treatment, support groups, etc:

This site will enhance your knowledge on screen options:

Great source for information on chemotherapy drugs and their side effects: