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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Colorectal Cancer Deaths

Why Is This Important?

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in Utah and the U.S. When national cancer-related deaths are estimated separately for males and females, colorectal cancer is the third leading cause of cancer death behind lung and breast cancer for females and behind lung and prostate cancer for males. 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 annual fecal occult blood test (FOBT), and/or flexible sigmoidoscopy every five years or colonoscopy every 10 years or 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 his or her 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., 1999-2017

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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 2017
  • U.S. Underlying Cause of Death Data: WONDER Online Database. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. Accessed at []
  • National Vital Statistics System, National Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Data Notes

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

Risk Factors

Risk factors for colorectal cancer include increasing age, inflammatory bowel disease, a family history of polyps or colorectal cancer, a personal history of polyps or colorectal cancer, and certain hereditary syndromes. Physical inactivity, a low fiber/high fat diet, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and tobacco use may all increase risk. A diet high in fruits and vegetables, hormone replacement therapy in post-menopausal women, and aspirin use may reduce colorectal cancer risk.

How Are We Doing?

The Utah colorectal cancer mortality rate has decreased steadily over the past several decades. The colorectal cancer mortality rate ranged from 20.1 per 100,000 population in 1980 to 10.6 per 100,000 population in 2017. Colorectal cancer mortality rates increase with age. Utah women aged 55 to 64 had significantly lower mortality rates than Utah men in this age group (14.9 per 100,000 women compared to 22.5 per 100,000 men for years 2015-2017 combined). Among health districts, between 2013 and 2017 the age-adjusted colorectal cancer mortality rate ranged from a high of 13.6 per 100,000 population in TriCounty Health District to a low of 8.0 per 100,000 in Summit Health District. Looking at Utah Small Areas between 2013 and 2017, Ivins/Santa Clara had the lowest rate of 4.8 per 100,000. (*Note: Ivins/Santa Clara rate does not meet UDOH data reliability standards and should be interpreted with caution.) Woods Cross/West Bountiful and Daybreak had the highest rates of 27.1 and 27.5 respectively. (*Note: Daybreak rate does not meet UDOH data reliability standards and should be interpreted with caution.)

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.

Healthy People Objective: Reduce the colorectal cancer death rate

U.S. Target: 14.5 deaths per 100,000 population

Date Indicator Content Last Updated: 12/11/2018

Other Views

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, 15 September 2019 7:00:50 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT