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PHOM Indicator Profile Report of Colorectal Cancer Deaths

Why Is This Important?

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., 1999-2018

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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 2018
  • 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 significantly, from 17.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in the year 2000 to 9.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2018. 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 2017 show the U.S. colorectal cancer death rate to be 13.7 deaths per 100,000 persons, compared to 10.6 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 2016-2018, 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, except for those aged 35-44 where females have slightly higher rates of colorectal cancer death than males (3.5 colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 females compared to 3.0 colorectal cancer deaths per 100,000 males). From 2014 to 2018 combined data, the TriCounty Local Health District had the highest colorectal cancer mortality rate of 16.5 deaths per 100,000 persons, while Summit LHD had the lowest rate with 9.0 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 2016-2018, there was no significant difference in colorectal cancer death rates between those of Hispanic (9.4 deaths per 100,000 persons) and non-Hispanic ethnicity (10.3 deaths per 100,000 persons). When looking at colorectal cancer mortality rates by race for the time period 2014-2018, those who identified racially as Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian had significantly higher colorectal cancer death rates (18.6 deaths per 100,000 persons) than all other races combined (10.6 deaths per 100,000 persons).

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: 10/28/2019

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 Thu, 23 January 2020 23:22:37 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Wed, 30 Oct 2019 09:10:20 MDT