Epidemiology of colorectal cancer

Int J Mol Epidemiol Genet. 2016 Sep 30;7(3):105-114. eCollection 2016.


Colorectal cancer is currently the third deadliest cancer in the United States and will claim an estimated 49,190 U.S. lives in 2016. The purpose of this review is to summarize our current understanding of this disease, based on nationally published statistics and information presented in peer-reviewed journal articles. Specifically, this review will cover the following topics: descriptive epidemiology (including time and disease trends both in the United States and abroad), risk factors (environmental, genetic, and gene-environment interactions), screening, prevention and control, and treatment. Landmark discoveries in colorectal cancer risk factor research will also be presented. Based on the information reviewed for this report, we suggest that future U.S. public health efforts aim to increase colorectal cancer screening among African American communities, and that future worldwide colorectal cancer epidemiology studies should focus on researching nutrient-gene interactions towards the goal of improving personalized treatment and prevention strategies.

Keywords: Colorectal cancer; epidemiology; prevention and control; review; risk factors; screening; treatment.

Publication types

  • Review