[Epidemiology of colorectal cancer]

Rev Prat. 2015 Jun;65(6):767-73.
[Article in French]


The incidence of colorectal cancer increased in France until the 2000s' then decreased. Time trends in incidence for this cancer varied according to its sublocation along the gut. Incidence increased for right and left colon cancers, whereas it remained stable for sigmoid cancers in males and decreased in females. Incidence decreased over time for rectal cancers. The proportion of colorectal cancer in the overall French cancer prevalence is 12%. In 2008, 121,000 patients had a colorectal cancer diagnosed in the 5 previous years. The cumulative risk of colorectal cancer increased from 3.9% for males born around 1900 to 4.9% for those born around 1930 and then slightly decreased, being 4.5% among those born around 1950. It remained at the same level for females and was 2.9% for those born around 1950. The prognosis of colorectal cancer improved over time. Net 5-year survival increased in males from 53% for cancers diagnosed between 1989 and 1991 to 58% for those diagnosed between 2001 and 2004. The highest improvement of 10 year survival rates concerned left colon and rectosigmoid junction (+19% in a decade). The progressive set up of national colorectal screening since the early 2000's and the introduction of recent immunological tests in 2015 should decrease the mortality for this cancer and, at term, should decrease its incidence too.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution