Colorectal Cancer Treatment

Last Updated:

On This Page:

In 2010, 68.9% of stage III colon and stage II and III rectal patients received adjuvant chemotherapy.

Summary graph for Colorectal Cancer Treatment, Click to see detailed view of graph

See Graph Details

Introduction

Colon cancer forms in the tissues of the colon, which is the longest part of the large intestine. Rectal cancer forms in the tissues of the rectum, which is the last several inches of the large intestine closest to the anus.

The main types of treatment for colon and rectal cancer are surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Depending on the stage of the cancer, two or more of these types of treatment may be combined at the same time or used one after another.

Surgery is the most common treatment for all stages of colorectal cancer. Adjuvant chemo is used after surgery to minimize chances of recurrence and has been shown to help people with stage II and stage III colon and rectal cancer live longer. Chemotherapy can make radiation therapy, which uses high-energy rays or particles to destroy cancer cells, more effective against some colon and rectal cancers. The proportion of patients receiving guideline adjuvant therapy increased steadily between 1987 and 2005. Potential disparities remain for some groups of patients.

Measure

Percent of individuals, aged 20 years and older, diagnosed with stage III colon cancer who received chemotherapy or diagnosed with stage II or stage III rectal cancer who received chemotherapy with or without radiotherapy.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • There are no Healthy People 2020 targets for cancer treatment, including colorectal cancer treatment.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Data Source

SEER Patterns of Care/Quality of Care Studies, National Cancer Institute, 1987 -2010.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Guideline Therapy

Percent of colon stage III and rectal stages II & III cancer patients who received the guideline chemotherapy treatment by age at diagnosis, 1987-2010
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2010)
Percent of patients 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percent of colon stage III and rectal stages II & III cancer patients who received the guideline chemotherapy treatment by age at diagnosis, 1987-2010 All AgesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Ages 68.9 (64.0 - 73.7)
Ages <65Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages <65 85.2 (80.0 - 90.3)
Ages 65+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 65+ 53.8 (46.6 - 61.0)

Additional Information on Colorectal Cancer Treatment

For the public

For health professionals

Statistics

Scientific reports

Year Range

1987-2010

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2005-2010

Summary Tables

Bladder, Breast, Colorectal

Recent Summary Trend

Rising

Desired Direction

Rising