Colorectal cancer statistics

Colorectal cancer is expected to be the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada in 2021 (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). It is the second leading cause of death from cancer in men and the third leading cause of death from cancer in women in Canada.

To provide the most current cancer statistics, statistical methods are used to estimate the number of new cancer cases and deaths until actual data become available.

Incidence and mortality

Incidence is the total number of new cases of cancer. Mortality is the number of deaths due to cancer.

It is estimated that in 2021:

  • 24,800 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. This represents 11% of all new cancer cases in 2021.

  • 9,600 Canadians will die from colorectal cancer. This represents 12% of all cancer deaths in 2021.

  • 13,700 men will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 5,300 will die from it.

  • 11,100 women will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and 4,300 will die from it.

  • On average, 68 Canadians will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer every day.

  • On average, 26 Canadians will die from colorectal cancer every day.

Estimated Canadian colorectal cancer statistics (2021)

Category

Males

Females

New cases

13,700

11,100

Deaths

5,300

4,300

5-year net survival (estimates for 2015 to 2017)

66%

67%

Diagram of percentage of colorectal cancer cases to all other cancers 2021
Diagram of percentage of colorectal cancer cases to all other cancers 2021
Diagram of percentage of colorectal cancer deaths to all other cancer deaths 2021
Diagram of percentage of colorectal cancer deaths to all other cancer deaths 2021

Chances (probability) of developing or dying from colorectal cancer

It is estimated that about 1 in 14 Canadian men will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 34 will die from it.

It is estimated that about 1 in 18 Canadian women will develop colorectal cancer during their lifetime and 1 in 40 will die from it.

For more information about cancer statistics, go to Canadian Cancer Statistics.

Expert review and references

  • Canadian Cancer Statistics Advisory Committee. Canadian Cancer Statistics 2021. Canadian Cancer Society; 2021.