Bowel cancer survival statistics

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Survival

Survive bowel cancer for 10 or more years, 2013-2017, England

Age

Age that bowel cancer survival is highest, 2009-2013, England

 

Improvement

Bowel cancer survival in the UK has more than doubled in the last 40 years

 

79.3% of males survive bowel cancer for at least one year. This falls to 58.2% surviving for five years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with bowel cancer during 2013-2017 in England.[1] Survival for females at one year is 77.1% and falls to 58.6% surviving for at least five years. Survival for females is lower than for than for males at one year, and similar to at five years.

Bowel Cancer Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England, 2013-2017

The bar chart shows one- and five-year net survival and predicted ten-year net survival, with 95% confidence intervals. Open a glossary item
 

Bowel cancer survival continues to fall beyond five years after diagnosis. 51.9% of males and 53.8% of females are predicted to survive their disease for ten years or more, as shown by age-standardised net survival for patients diagnosed with bowel cancer during 2013-2017 in England.[1]

References

  1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019.

About this data

Data is for England, 2013 - 2017, ICD-10 C67.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Last reviewed:

Five-year survival for bowel cancer shows an unusual pattern with age: survival overall decreases with increasing age, though in women aged 50-59 and men and women aged 60-69, there is a slight increase compared with the preceding age group. Five-year net survival in men ranges from 69% in 15-39 year-olds to 46% in 80-99 year-olds for patients diagnosed with bowel cancer in England during 2009-2013.[1] In women, five-year survival ranges from 71% to 42% in the same age groups. The slightly higher survival in 60-69 year-olds is likely to be associated with bowel cancer screening in this age group.

Bowel Cancer (C18-C20 and C21.8), Five-Year Net Survival by Age, England, 2009-2013

References

  1. Office for National Statistics. Cancer survival in England: adults diagnosed in 2009 to 2013, followed up to 2014. Newport: ONS; 2015.

About this data

Data is for England, 2009-2013, ICD-10 C18-C20 and C21.8

Last reviewed:

As with most cancers, survival for bowel cancer is improving. One-year age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for bowel cancer in men has increased from 47% during 1971-1972 to 77% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference Open a glossary item of 30 percentage points.[1] In women, one-year survival has increased from 45% to 74% over the same time period (a difference of 29 percentage points).

Bowel Cancer (C18-C20 and C21.8), Age-Standardised One-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Survival is a weighted average derived from data for colon (C18) and rectum cancer (C19-C20, C21.8)

Five-year age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for bowel cancer in men has increased from 25% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 59% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 35 percentage points.[1] In women, five-year survival has increased from 24% to 58% over the same time period (a difference of 34 percentage points).

Bowel Cancer (C18-C20 and C21.8), Age-Standardised Five-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Survival is a weighted average derived from data for colon (C18) and rectum cancer (C19-C20, C21.8).

Five-year survival for 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model.

Ten-year survival has followed the same trend as one- and five-year survival since the early 1970s. Ten-year age-standardised Open a glossary item net survival for bowel cancer in men has increased from 22% during 1971-1972 to a predicted survival of 56% during 2010-2011 in England and Wales – an absolute survival difference of 35 percentage points.[1] In women, ten-year survival has increased from 22% to 57% over the same time period (a difference of 35 percentage points). Overall, nearly 6 in 10 people diagnosed with bowel cancer today are predicted to survive their disease for at least ten years.

Bowel Cancer (C18-C20 and C21.8), Age-Standardised Ten-Year Net Survival, Adults (Aged 15-99), England and Wales, 1971-2011

Survival is a weighted average derived from data for colon (C18) and rectum cancer (C19-C20, C21.8).

Ten-year survival for 2005-2006 and 2010-2011 is predicted using an excess hazard statistical model.

References

  1. Data were provided by London School of Hygiene and Tropical  Medicine on request, 2014.

About this data

Data is for England and Wales, 1971-2011, ICD-10 C18-C20 and C21.8

Last reviewed:

Survival for bowel cancer is strongly related to stage of the disease at diagnosis.

One-year net survival by stage

One-year net survival for bowel cancer is highest for patients diagnosed at Stage 1, and lowest for those diagnosed at Stage 4, as 2013-2017 data for England show.[1] 98% of patients diagnosed at Stage 1 survived their disease for at least one year, compared to 44% of patients diagnosed at Stage 4.[1]

One year net survival for unknown or missing stage is 63%, while one year survival for unstageable cancer is 58%. Lack of staging information may in some cases reflect advanced stage at diagnosis as very unwell patients may not undergo staging tests if the invasiveness of the testing outweighs the potential benefit of obtaining stage information. Incomplete staging assessment may also be associated with socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of the patient [2]. Stage completeness for bowel cancer was 89% in 2013-2017 [1].

For patients diagnosed at Stage 4, one-year net survival is significantly higher for males than for females, with an absolute survival difference of 5 percentage points. One-year net survival is also higher for males at Stage 3 (difference of 2 percentage points). It is higher for women at Stage 1 and similar between the sexes at Stage 2.

Bowel cancer one-year net survival by stage, with incidence by stage (all data: adults diagnosed 2013-2017, followed up to 2018)

Five-year net survival by stage

Five-year net survival for bowel cancer shows a much larger difference in survival between Stages 1 and 4. In males, five-year net survival ranges from 91% at Stage 1 to 10% at Stage 4.[1] In females, five-year net survival ranges from 93% at Stage 1 to 10% at Stage 4. There are no significant differences in five-year survival between males and females at any stage.[1]

Bowel cancer five-year net survival by stage, with incidence by stage (all data: adults diagnosed 2013-2017, followed up to 2018)

References

  1. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England, 2019.
  2. Di Girolamo C, Walters S, Benitez Majano S et al. Characteristics of patients with missing information on stage: a population-based study of patients diagnosed with colon, lung or breast cancer in England in 2013. BMC Cancer 2018;18(1).

About this data

Data is for: England, 2013 - 2017, ICD-10 C18 to C20.

Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival but the survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and tumour characteristics.

Last reviewed:

There is also an advantage of between 5% and 9% in five-year relative survival for the most affluent patients compared with the most deprived groups.[1]

Last reviewed:

Colon cancer survival in the UK compared to Europe

Five-year relative survival for colon cancer in men in England (51%) is below the average for Europe (56%). Wales (50%) and Scotland (54%) are also below the European average but Northern Ireland (53%) is similar to the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in men ranges from 43% (Latvia) to 61% (Germany).[1]

Five-year relative survival for colon cancer in women in England (52%) is below the average for Europe (56%). Wales (50%) and Scotland (54%) are also below the European average but Northern Ireland (55%) is similar to the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in women ranges from 43% (Latvia) to 65% (Iceland).[1]

Colon Cancer (C18), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival, Adults (Aged 15+), European Countries, 2000-2007

Data consists of both observed and predicted 5-year relative survival. Where sufficient follow-up was not available for recently diagnosed patients the period approach was used to predict 5-year cohort survival.

Possible explanations for persistent international differences in survival include differences in cancer biology, use of diagnostic tests and screening, stage at diagnosis, access to high-quality care, and data collection practices.[1]

Rectal cancer survival in the UK compared to Europe

Five-year relative survival for rectal cancer in men in England (53%) is below the average for Europe (55%). Wales (49%) is also below the European average but Scotland (53%) and Northern Ireland (52%) are similar to the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in men ranges from 37% (Latvia) to 78% (Iceland).[1]

Five-year relative survival for rectal cancer in women in England (56%) is below the average for Europe (58%). Wales (57%), Scotland (56%) and Northern Ireland (58%) are similar to the European average.[1] Across the European countries for which data is available, five-year relative survival in women ranges from 36% (Latvia) to 67% (Iceland).[1]

Rectal Cancer (C19, C20, C21), Age-Standardised Five-Year Relative Survival, Adults (Aged 15+), European Countries, 2000-2007

Data consists of both observed and predicted 5-year relative survival. Where sufficient follow-up was not available for recently diagnosed patients the period approach was used to predict 5-year cohort survival.

Possible explanations for persistent international differences in survival include differences in cancer biology, use of diagnostic tests and screening, stage at diagnosis, access to high-quality care, and data collection practices.[1]

References

  1. De Angelis R, Sant M, Coleman MP, et al. Cancer survival in Europe 1999-2007 by country and age: results of EUROCARE-5 - a population-based study. Lancet Oncol 2014;15:23-34

About this data

Data is for: 29 European countries, patients diagnosed in 2000-2007 and followed up to 2008, colon and rectal cancer (International Classification of Diseases for Oncology [ICD-O-3] C19, C20, C21).

Last reviewed:

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Acknowledgements

We are grateful to the many organisations across the UK which collect, analyse, and share the data which we use, and to the patients and public who consent for their data to be used. Find out more about the sources which are essential for our statistics.