Colorectal Cancer Statistics
Bowel cancer is also known as colorectal cancer. Bowel cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the wall of the large bowel grow in an uncontrolled way.
The large bowel is part of the body’s digestive system. It includes the colon, rectum and anal canal.
Bowel cancer is usually a slow-growing cancer. There are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease.
The risk of developing bowel cancer increases with age. The average age of bowel cancer diagnosis is 69.3 years.
The risk of being diagnosed with bowel cancer by 85 years of age is around 1 in 10 for men and 1 in 15 for women.
At the end of 2007, it was estimated that there were 105,144 people in Australia who were diagnosed with bowel cancer in the previous 26 years, including 45,763 people diagnosed in the previous 5 years.
The estimated number of new bowel cancers diagnosed in Australia in 2012 was 15,840 (8,760 men and 7,080 women).
In 2010–11, there were 29,263 hospitalisations for bowel cancer, accounting for 3.3% of all cancer-related hospitalisations that year.
In 2010, there were 3,982 deaths from bowel cancer (2,205 men and 1,777 women), accounting for 9.3 per cent of all cancer deaths in Australia.This represents the second highest number of cancer deaths after lung cancer.
The relative survival rates for bowel cancer have increased in recent years. Between the periods 1982–1987 and 2006-2010, five-year relative survival rate increased from 48.0 per cent to 66.2 per cent.