On this page you will find information about how colorectal cancer affects people in Connecticut. Statistics are shown for the following topics:
- Colorectal cancer is the 3rd leading cause of cancer-related death in both Connecticut men and women.
- 278 Connecticut men and 354 Connecticut women died from colorectal cancer in 2005.
- In 2001-2005 Connecticut had the 12th lowest rate of death from colorectal cancer in men in the United States and the 17th lowest rate in women.
- Rates of new colorectal cancers in Connecticut men and women have decreased over the last 30 years, due in part to colorectal cancer screening.
- Rates of deaths from colorectal cancer in Connecticut men and women have also decreased over the last 30 years, due in part to colorectal cancer screening.
- The chance of getting colorectal cancer increases with age.
- More than 9 out of every 10 colorectal cancers diagnosed in 2001-2005 were in men and women 50 years of age or older.
- Colorectal cancer rates in Connecticut vary among men and women from different racial and ethnic groups:
- ‘Other’ non-Hispanic men are the least likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. (Other: American Indian/Alaskan Native; Asian or Pacific Islander.)
- Black, non-Hispanic women are the most likely to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer.
- The death rates from colorectal cancer are highest in Black, non-Hispanic men and women.
- In Connecticut, around 2 in 5 colorectal cancers were diagnosed at an early (localized) stage in 1996-2000.
- Almost 1 in 5 colorectal cancers were found at a late (distant) stage.
- Regular screening can lead to earlier detection of colorectal cancer, when it is easier to treat.
- Colorectal cancer survival rates depend on many factors, including stage of disease at diagnosis.
- The 5-year relative survival rate (‘relative’ means adjusted for mortality in the general population) for men diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Connecticut is 65%, and for women is 64%.
- The relative survival rate is much higher when the cancer is diagnosed at an early (localized) stage of disease, than when it is diagnosed at a late stage.
(invasive) cancers are those that have spread (or ‘invaded’) into cells beyond the layer of tissue in which they first developed. When a cancer spreads to a different part of the body, it is called metastatic
cancer. In situ
cancers are early cancers that have not invaded through the immediate layer of tissue. A benign
tumor is histologically (microscopically) non-cancerous and does not spread to other parts of the body.
Tumor registries collect information on all malignant and in situ cancers (excluding basal and squamous cell skin cancers and in situ cancers of the cervix) and benign tumors of the brain and central nervous system.
2. Cancer data
for the United States are collected through two federally funded programs: the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) program
of the National Cancer Institute and the National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR)
of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The SEER program was established in 1973 to provide an authoritative source of information on cancer incidence and survival in the United States and currently covers approximately 26% of the United States population. The NPCR was set up in 1992 to extend cancer data coverage to the remainder of the United States population, and to assist non-SEER registries in gathering complete and high quality data. For the period 2000-2004, 39 registries achieved sufficiently high data quality for inclusion in national cancer incidence figures. See http://www.cancer-rates.info/naaccr
for further details.
3. Rates of
new cancer cases or deaths are the numbers of cases or deaths in a given number of men or women (usually 100,000) in a year. Because the risk of cancer increases with age, rates are usually age-adjusted
, which allows rates in different groups of people to be compared even when one group has a higher proportion of older people. Except for rates in different age groups, the rates presented here have been age-adjusted.
is looking for cancer before a person has any symptoms. This can help find cancer at an early stage when it may be easier to treat. By the time symptoms appear, cancer may have begun to spread. There are several different tests that can be used to screen for colorectal cancers. Click click on this link for the Colorectal Cancer Facts page
for more information on colorectal cancer screening.
5. To monitor
cancer rates in different racial and ethnic groups, cancer registries collect information on race and Hispanic ethnicity. Although ethnicity data are required to be reported, they are not always provided. Cancer registries supplement their ethnicity data using a nationally accepted method based on an individual’s names. However, there is potential for some misclassification using this method, particularly in women due to the frequent absence of maiden names in cancer registry databases.
The ‘Other’ race category includes men and women of American Indian, Alaskan Native, Asian and Pacific Island backgrounds.
6. The stage
of a cancer is a measure of how far the cancer has spread at the time of diagnosis. Stage is usually based on the size of the tumor, whether lymph nodes contain cancer, and whether the cancer has spread (metastasized) from the original site to other parts of the body. Localized (early stage) cancer
is limited to the organ in which it began, without evidence of spread. Regional cancer
has spread beyond the original (primary) site to nearby lymph nodes or organs and tissues. Distant (late stage) cancer
has spread from the primary site to distant organs or distant lymph nodes. Unstaged cancers
are those for which there is not enough information to indicate a stage.
7. The survival rate
is a measure of how long people live after diagnosis with cancer. The relative survival rate
is defined as the ratio of a cancer patient's chance of surviving a given time interval to that of a person of the same age and sex in the general US population (i.e., the rate has been adjusted for mortality in the general population). The survival rates presented here are for men and women diagnosed in 1996-2000 and followed up to the end of December 2005.