Objective: This study provides projections of colorectal cancer prevalence by phases of care (initial, monitoring, and last year of life) to the year 2020 and describes the estimation method.
Methods: Cancer prevalence by phase of care was estimated from colorectal cancer incidence and survival from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program data, population estimates and projections from the US Census Bureau, and all cause mortality data from the Human Mortality Life Tables. Assumptions of constant incidence and survival were used for projections from 2000 to 2020. Modeled and directly observed patient months by phase of care were compared for 1996 -1998 to provide validation of estimates.
Results: Prevalence of colorectal cancer is estimated to increase from 1,002,786 (0.36%) patients to 1,522,348 (0.46%) patients between 2000 and 2020. The estimated number of person-months in the initial and last year of life phases of care will increase 43%, while the monitoring phase of care will increase 54%. Modeled person-months by phase of care were consistent with directly observed measures of person months by phase of care in 1996-1998.
Conclusions: Under assumptions of current cancer control strategies we project that colorectal cancer prevalence will increase more rapidly than the US population, largely due to the aging of the US population. This suggests that considerable resources will be needed in the future for initial, continuing and last year of life treatment of colorectal cancer patients unless notable breakthroughs in primary prevention occur in the future years.