Notes on the data: Premature mortality by selected cause - 0 to 74 years

Deaths from colorectal cancer, persons aged 0 to 74 years, 2010 to 2014


Policy context:  Colorectal cancer refers to cancer of the colon, rectum and anal canal and is more commonly referred to as bowel cancer [1]. Most bowel cancers are thought to develop from non-malignant growths on the lining of the wall of the bowel. These non-malignant growths are called adenomas or polyps. While the causes of bowel cancer are not fully understood, there are a number of factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. These factors include: increasing age; a personal history of bowel cancer or polyp; a family history of bowel cancer, adenoma or gynaecological cancer; and a personal history of inflammatory bowel disease [2].

In 2010, there were 3,982 deaths from bowel cancer (2,205 men and 1,777 women), accounting for 9.3 per cent of all cancer deaths in Australia [2]. The age-standardised mortality rate for bowel cancer is higher for men: in 2010, there were 20.1 deaths per 100,000 men from bowel cancer, compared with 13.0 deaths per 100,000 women [2]. In 2012, bowel cancer was estimated to account for 13 per cent of the burden of disease due to cancer in men, and 12 per cent of the burden of disease due to cancer in women in Australia [2].


  1. National Cancer Institute (NCI). Colon cancer treatment (PDQ) – patient version [Internet] [cited 2013 Oct 18]. Available from:
  2. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) & Australasian Association of Cancer Registries (AACR). Cancer in Australia 2010: an overview. Cancer series no. 60. (AIHW Cat. no. CAN 56). Canberra: AIHW; 2010.

Notes:  International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) codes: C18-C20

For deaths data released since 2007, the ABS has applied a staged approach to the coding of cause of death which affects the number of records available for release at any date. In each release, the latest year’s data is preliminary, the second latest is revised and the data for the remaining years is final. For further information about the ABS revisions process see the following and related sites:


Numerator:  Deaths from colorectal cancer at ages 0 to 74 years


Detail of analysis:  Average annual indirectly age-standardised rate per 100,000 population (aged 0 to 74 years); and/or indirectly age-standardised ratio, based on the Australian standard.


Source:  Data compiled by PHIDU from deaths data based on the 2010 to 2014 Cause of Death Unit Record Files supplied by the Australian Coordinating Registry and the Victorian Department of Justice, on behalf of the Registries of Births, Deaths and Marriages and the National Coronial Information System. The population is the ABS Estimated Resident Population (ERP) for Australia, 30 June 2010 to 30 June 2014.


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