Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common type of GI cancer in Europe with 68 CRC cases per 100,000 population. The disease has a much higher rate in men: 79 CRC case per 100,000 than women: 54 CRC cases per 100,000. CRC accounted for 342,137 diagnoses and 14.3% of all cancer diagnoses in Europe in 2012.

Policy makers, stakeholders and patient organisations are welcome and encouraged to use the resources found here on social media, websites, newsletters and all other channels.

View further information on CRC below. All information is taken from the UEG Survey of Digestive Health Across Europe, unless otherwise stated.

  • There were 342,137 new cases of colorectal cancer recorded in the EU in 2012
  • Colorectal cancer accounted for 14.3% of all cancers recorded in the EU in 2012
  • The incidence rate of colorectal cancer is 68 per 100,000 of the population
  • For men, the incidence rate is 79 per 100,000 of the population
  • For women, the incidence rate is 54 per 100,000 of the population
  • Incidence among men appears to be highest in parts of eastern Europe, including Slovakia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovenia
  • Incidence among women appears to be highest in north western Europe, including Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands
  • Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in European men and second most common cancer in European women
  • 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

Canvassing the opinions of leading European digestive cancer specialists, stakeholder organisations and patient groups, the report highlights the scale of alcohol consumption across Europe and its direct and indirect impact on digestive cancers, including colorectal cancer.

Access the report


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second most common cause of cancer-related death in Europe. There is strong evidence to demonstrate that screening for CRC reduces incidence and mortality rates, yet there are vast inequalities in CRC screening throughout the continent. Find out more information on CRC screening across Europe in this informative leaflet.

Access the leaflet

Colorectal Cancer (CRC) In Europe
Colorectal Cancer (CRC) In Europe
Colorectal Cancer In Young Adults Across Europe
Colorectal Cancer In Young Adults Across Europe
UEG White Book - Colorectal Cancer
UEG White Book - Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Annual Incidence And Mortality Rate
Colorectal Cancer (CRC) Annuall Incidence And Mortality Rate
Alcohol and Colorectal Cancer
Alcohol and Colorectal Cancer
UEG White Book - Gastrointestinal Diseases
UEG White Book - Gastrointestinal Diseases

Presented by Eric Van Cutsem, UEG expert and Professor of Gastroenterology/Digestive Oncology at the Leuven Cancer Institute, UEG’s Diet, Lifestyle and GI Cancer video outlines key data on GI cancer and important risk factors. Developed in partnership with EuropaColon.

EuropaColon Resources

Colorectal Cancer Prevention and Screening: What YOU Need to Know Leaflet

A leaflet for patients explaining the key facts about prevention and screening of CRC.

Colorectal Cancer Health Check Barometer 2015

EuropaColon's annual pan-European CRC 'Health Check'

European Patient Organisations

EuropaColon is the voice of the European colorectal cancer community. Its aim is to save lives by bringing together all key stakeholders in the fight against this deadly disease which is highly treatable if diagnosed early.

T: @europacolon

Stop Darmkanker
The mission of the association "Stop Darmkanker" is clear: we want to convince everyone that through early detection of polyps and colon cancer, death rates from colorectal cancer will drop drastically. Through various channels, the internet and social media, it organizes activities to provide information and education about cancer. The knowledge about this silent killer amongst the general public is still inadequate.

T: @ StopDarmkanker

European Cancer Patient Coalition (ECPC)
CPC works to ensure that all European cancer patients have timely and affordable access to the best treatment and care available, throughout their life. Policy makers, researchers, doctors and industry should recognise European cancer patients as the most important partners in the fight against cancer and against all the cancer-related issues affecting our society.

T: @cancereu

Association of European Cancer Leagues
ECL is a pan-European umbrella organisation of national and regional cancer leagues. Since 1980, we have been providing a unique and important platform for cancer societies. From Iceland to Turkey, ECL is represented by leagues in the extended Europe. Together, we are "making a Difference in Cancer Prevention and Control!"

T: @CancerLeagues

National Patient Organisations

Felix Burda Foundation - Germany
Catalan Federation of Entities Against Cancer – Spain
Foundation Against Cancer – Spain
Spanish Group of Cancer Patients – Spain
Spanish Association Against Cancer - Spain
Stop Darmkanker Belgium
EuropaColon Georgia
EuropaColon Hungary
EuropaColon Latvia
EuropaColon Poland
EuropaColon Portugal
EuropaColon Serbia
EuropaColon Slovakia
EuropaColon Slovenia
EuropaColon Spain
UG Colon Bosnia
Darmkrebs - Austria
Cyprus Association - Cyprus
Colores - Finland
Agaliazo - Greece
Recovering Together - Hungary
Darmkanker - Netherlands
Borka - Macedonia
Romanian Cancer Society - Romania
Bowel Cancer UKARCAD - France
France Colon - France
Movement Against Cancer -Russia
Equal Right To Life - Russia
National Health Screening Programme - Malta
Movement For Health - Ukraine
Zav-Menia - Israel
Youth Accumulation Ass. - Turkey
Cancer Pat. Coalition - Lithuania
Kanserle Dans Derneği - Turkey
APOZ & Friends - Bulgaria
Gastro Liga - Germany

Estonian Cancer Society

UEG Patient Affairs
Luke Paskins

T  +44 (0) 1444 811099

Information in this section has been checked and where necessary updated by UEG CRC experts Monique van Leerdam and Evelien Dekker. Last checked September 2016.