Colon and rectal cancer mortality is expected to be about 15.5/100,000 population in 2018, with the highest rate in West Virginia and lowest in Utah.
Approximately 50,630 deaths from colorectal cancer are predicted for the year in the United States by the American Cancer Society (ACS) in its Cancer Facts & Figures 2018, based on analysis of 2001-2015 data from the National Center for Health Statistics.
The expected number of deaths for 2018, coupled with a current population estimate of nearly 326 million, works out to an expected death rate of 15.5/100,000 population. The Census Bureau estimates for the state populations and the deaths projected by the ACS produce expected death rates of 23.6/100,000 for West Virginia and 9.0 for Utah. Both states are relative outliers: The next-highest rate after West Virginia is Mississippi’s 21.5 and the next-lowest rate after Utah is Colorado’s 11.8.
Nationally, the colorectal cancer death rate has been declining for decades, but hidden inside that long-term trend are a couple of competing ones: From 2006 to 2015, mortality dropped 2.9% a year for those aged 55 years and older but increased by 1% annually for adults aged 55 and under, the ACS said.
Incidence rates for colon cancer and rectal cancer showed a similar trend: From 2005 to 2015 they were down by 3.8% (colon) and 3.5% (rectal) a year for adults aged 55 and older but rose 1.4% and 2.4%, respectively, for adults younger than 55. Accurate statistics on colon and rectal cancer deaths are not available separately “because many deaths from rectal cancer are misclassified as colon cancer on death certificates,” the ACS said.