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Bowel cancer statistics

Bowel Stats Doughnut

  • 41,581 people in the UK were diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2011.
  • There were 16,187 deaths from bowel cancer in the UK in 2012.
  • 57% of adult bowel cancer patients (56% of men and 57% of women) diagnosed in 2010-2011 in England and Wales are predicted to survive ten or more years.
  • 54% of bowel cancer cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.


Stats, info and publications

See our Key Stats for a summary of the main stats and information. 

See in-depth statistics for Incidence, Mortality, Survival, Risk Factors, and Screening.

Download our publications about these statistics:

Use our local cancer statistics tool to find and compare statistics information and intelligence about cancer in areas across the UK. 

The latest statistics available for bowel cancer in the UK are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011. Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

The ICD codes for bowel cancer incidence and mortality are ICD-10 C18-C20 (which includes cancers of the colon, rectum and rectosigmoid junction).

The ICD codes for bowel cancer survival are ICD-10 C18-C20 and C21.8. The ICD code for colon cancer is ICD-10 C18. The ICD codes for rectal cancer are ICD-10 C19-C20 and C21.8.

Bowel cancer is sometimes called colorectal cancer and some data include anal cancer.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics. If you are a patient, please see our CancerHelp UK pages

Survival by stage is not yet routinely available for the UK due to inconsistencies in the collecting and recording of staging data in the past. Survival by stage is available for the former Anglia Cancer Network in the east of England, however. The former Anglia Cancer Network covers around 5% of the population of England and may not be representative of the country as a whole due to differences in underlying demographic factors (such as age, deprivation or ethnicity), as well as variation in local healthcare provision standards and policies.

Risk factor evidence is for bowel cancer unless otherwise specified. Meta-analyses and systematic reviews are cited where available, as they provide the best overview of all available research and most take study quality into account. Individual case-control and cohort studies are reported where such aggregated data are lacking.

Specific questions and answers about some of Cancer Research UK's statistics and information and explanations on terminology used for statistics and reporting of cancer, and the methods used to calculate some of the statistics are also available.


We would like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data. 

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Updated: 17 February 2015