Colorectal cancer statistics, 2020

CA Cancer J Clin. 2020 May;70(3):145-164. doi: 10.3322/caac.21601. Epub 2020 Mar 5.


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Every 3 years, the American Cancer Society provides an update of CRC occurrence based on incidence data (available through 2016) from population-based cancer registries and mortality data (through 2017) from the National Center for Health Statistics. In 2020, approximately 147,950 individuals will be diagnosed with CRC and 53,200 will die from the disease, including 17,930 cases and 3,640 deaths in individuals aged younger than 50 years. The incidence rate during 2012 through 2016 ranged from 30 (per 100,000 persons) in Asian/Pacific Islanders to 45.7 in blacks and 89 in Alaska Natives. Rapid declines in incidence among screening-aged individuals during the 2000s continued during 2011 through 2016 in those aged 65 years and older (by 3.3% annually) but reversed in those aged 50 to 64 years, among whom rates increased by 1% annually. Among individuals aged younger than 50 years, the incidence rate increased by approximately 2% annually for tumors in the proximal and distal colon, as well as the rectum, driven by trends in non-Hispanic whites. CRC death rates during 2008 through 2017 declined by 3% annually in individuals aged 65 years and older and by 0.6% annually in individuals aged 50 to 64 years while increasing by 1.3% annually in those aged younger than 50 years. Mortality declines among individuals aged 50 years and older were steepest among blacks, who also had the only decreasing trend among those aged younger than 50 years, and excluded American Indians/Alaska Natives, among whom rates remained stable. Progress against CRC can be accelerated by increasing access to guideline-recommended screening and high-quality treatment, particularly among Alaska Natives, and elucidating causes for rising incidence in young and middle-aged adults.

Keywords: colon and rectum neoplasms; epidemiology; health disparities; screening and early detection.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • SEER Program / statistics & numerical data*
  • Survival Rate / trends
  • United States / epidemiology