Colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer
Colorectal cancer is preventable if caught at a precancerous stage, highly treatable if caught at an early stage, and testing for it is easy. Nevertheless, an estimated 26,800 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) in 2017, and about 9,400 died of the disease.
In this country, it is the most common cancer among men (tied with lung cancer) and the third most common among women (after breast cancer and lung cancer). While the disease accounts for 12 per cent of all cancer deaths, it needn’t be fatal. In fact, the five-year survival rate for CRC is 90 per cent when it’s caught before spreading out of the colon or rectum. “What’s more, if you survive for five years past diagnosis, your chance of dying is barely higher than that of the rest of the population your age,” says Dr. Heather Bryant, chief scientific officer for the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer.