Colorectal Cancer

The burden of Colorectal Cancer (CRC)

Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Europe. CRC is the most common digestive cancer and accounts for 13% of all cancers. Organised, population-based CRC screening programmes help to increase the number of patients diagnosed early and improve patient outcomes. 

Read CRC Manifesto

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Incidence figures
  • In 2018, there were 378,445 new cases of CRC in Europe and it is estimated that it claimed the lives of over 170,000 Europeans.
  • In Europe, the incidence rate among men per 100,000 of the population appears to be highest in Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia, and lowest in Austria, Switzerland and Finland.
  • The incidence rate among European women, per 100,000 of the population is highest in Norway, Denmark and Hungary, while it is at the lowest rates in Cyprus, Austria and Romania.
Disease progression and survival rates
  • Colorectal cancer is the second biggest cancer killer in Europe and one European dies from CRC every 3 minutes
  • However, prognosis for colorectal cancer is relatively good when compared with all other major gastrointestinal malignancies
  • A one and five year survival rate of 75% and 48% overall in Europe from 2000 to 2012 were reported
  • There is relatively little variation in reported survival across most European countries, although prognosis is typically best in Scandinavia, western and central European countries (including Switzerland, Sweden, France, Norway, Belgium, Austria and Germany) and lowest in eastern European countries (including Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania)
  • More than 80% of people with colorectal cancer in Europe undergo surgical treatment
  • Five year survival after surgical resection ranges from 40% to 60% depending on the stage of the tumour
  • The introduction of cancer screening programmes across Europe has become much more widespread over the last five to ten years

CRC infographics


Public Affairs & Advocacy Management
Andreea Botos
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