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Health Indicator Report of Colorectal Cancer Deaths

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths in Utah and across the U.S. Deaths from colorectal cancer can be substantially reduced when precancerous polyps are detected early and removed. When colorectal cancer is diagnosed early, 90% of patients survive at least five years^1^. Several scientific organizations recommend that routine screening for colorectal cancer begin at age 50 for adults at average risk. Persons at high risk may need to begin screening at a younger age. Routine screening can include either an annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT), a flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years, a colonoscopy every 10 years, or a double-contrast barium enema every 5 to 10 years. Studies have shown that FOBT testing, when performed every 1 to 2 years in people aged 50 to 80 years, can help reduce the number of deaths due to colorectal cancer by 15 to 33 percent^2,3^. The National Cancer Institute advises each individual to discuss risk factors and screening options with their health care provider. Medicare and many insurance plans now help to pay for colorectal cancer screening.[[br]] [[br]] ---- 1. American Cancer Society, Colorectal Cancer Facts & Figures 2017-2019 Accesed at: [].[[br]] 2. Burch JA, Soares-Weiser K, St John DJ, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of fecal occult blood tests used in screening for colorectal cancer: A systematic review. ''Journal of Medical Screening'' 2007; 14(3):132-137.[[br]] 3. Ouyang DL, Chen JJ, Getzenberg RH, Schoen RE. Noninvasive testing for colorectal cancer: A review. ''American Journal of Gastroenterology'' 2005; 100(6):1393-1403.

Colorectal Cancer Deaths by Year, Utah and U.S., 1999-2020


ICD-10 codes used to define colorectal cancer: C18-C21. Age-adjusted to U.S. 2000 standard population.

Data Sources

  • Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health
  • Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2020
  • U.S. Cancer Statistics: WONDER Online Database. United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Cancer Institute. Accessed at []
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The rate of death from cancer of the colon or rectum (ICD-10: C18-C21) per 100,000 persons.


The number of deaths due to colorectal cancer for a given time period (ICD-10: C18-C21).


The population in Utah or the U.S. for a given time period.

Healthy People Objective C-5:

Reduce the colorectal cancer death rate
U.S. Target: 14.5 deaths per 100,000 population

How Are We Doing?

The Utah colorectal cancer mortality rate has decreased significantly, from 17.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in the year 2000 to 10.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2020. The Utah colorectal cancer mortality rate has also remained slightly lower than the U.S. mortality rate over time. The latest available data estimates from 2018 show the U.S. colorectal cancer death rate to be 13.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to 9.9 deaths per 100,000 persons in Utah. Rates of colorectal cancer deaths in Utah vary by age, sex, geography, ethnicity, and race. Looking at data from combined years 2018-2020, rates of colorectal cancer death significantly increase with age for both males and females. Males have higher rates of colorectal cancer deaths than females across all age groups. From 2016 to 2020 combined data, TriCounty Local Health District (LHD) had the highest colorectal cancer mortality rate of 15.7 deaths per 100,000 persons, while Summit County LHD had the lowest rate with 7.3 deaths per 100,000 persons. Other geographical distribution of colorectal cancer deaths can also be viewed in more detail at the Utah Small Area level (see additional data views). For combined years 2018-2020, there was no significant difference in colorectal cancer death rates between those of Hispanic (8.3 deaths per 100,000 persons) and non-Hispanic ethnicity (10.5 deaths per 100,000 persons). When looking at colorectal cancer mortality rates by race for the time period 2016-2020, those who identified racially as Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian had significantly higher colorectal cancer death rates (19.2 deaths per 100,000 persons) than all other races combined (10.4 deaths per 100,000 persons).

How Do We Compare With the U.S.?

The Utah colorectal cancer mortality rate has remained slightly lower than the U.S. mortality rate over time. The latest available data estimates from 2018 show the U.S. colorectal cancer death rate to be 13.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to 9.9 deaths per 100,000 persons in Utah.

What Is Being Done?

Screening for colorectal cancer has recently been identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a priority public health issue. The the Utah Cancer Control Program (UCCP) monitors the use of colorectal cancer screening tests by Utahns through the statewide Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), which is conducted annually.

Available Services

Insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screening tests is required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, the ACA doesn't apply to health plans that were in place before it was passed (so-called grandfathered plans). You can find out your insurance plan's grandfathered status by contacting your health insurance company or your employer's human resources department. If your plan started on or after September 23, 2010, it is required to cover regular colonoscopies and other colorectal cancer screening tests. If a plan started before September 23, 2010, it may still have coverage requirements from state laws, which vary, and other federal laws.

Health Program Information

The Utah Comprehensive Cancer Control program (CCC) and its affiliated coalition, the Utah Cancer Action Network (UCAN), work together with state and local partners to reduce the burden of cancer in Utah. Their mission is to lower cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality in Utah through collaborative efforts directed toward cancer prevention and control. As a result, they support community-based strategies around food security, healthy neighborhoods, access to health care, and financial toxicity in order to prevent cancer; detect cancer early; and improve the lives of cancer survivors, caregivers, and their families.
Page Content Updated On 04/14/2022, Published on 04/14/2022
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sun, 04 June 2023 11:36:02 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 14 Apr 2022 13:53:39 MDT