Data Blog

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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month Published: ()

Cancer is a disease that occurs when the body’s cells do not develop, function and reproduce normally resulting in lumps or tumours that can invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.

Colorectal cancer is a malignant tumour that starts in the cells of the colon or rectum, most often in the cell walls that line them. The colon and rectum are parts of the large intestine and digestive system responsible for absorbing water and nutrients from food and eliminating wastes.

The Public Health Agency of Canada monitors national cancer patterns and outcomes and produces needed information for cancer prevention and control programs, to help reduce the burden of cancer in Canada.


In 2017, colorectal cancer was the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths and 2nd most common cancer in Canada. [PHAC]

1 in 9

1 in 9 cancers diagnosed in 2017 was colorectal cancer. 1 in 9 cancer deaths in 2017 was caused by colorectal cancer. [CCS, 2017]


An estimated 26,800 colorectal cancers were diagnosed in 2017. With an aging and growing Canadian population, the number of colorectal cancers is expected to exceed 35,000 in 2030. That’s the total population of Nunavut. [CCS, 2017]


Roughly 9,400 Canadian deaths were caused by colorectal cancer in 2017. [CCS, 2017]

Male vs Female

Men are approximately 25% more likely than women to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. [CCS, 2017]


Approximately 94% of colorectal cancers are diagnosed in people age 50 years or older and 80% occur in adults age 60 or older. [CCS, 2017]

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