5 Myths About Colon Cancer

 

According to the American Cancer Society, there are 5 myths associated with colon cancer.

 


 

Myth #1: Colorectal cancer is a man’s disease.

The Truth:

Colorectal cancer affects both men and women – 1 out of 19 men -1 out of 20 women. About 150,000 people in the US are diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and about 50,000 die from the disease each year.

Myth #2: Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented.

The Truth: 

Colorectal cancer can be prevented in many cases. It starts with a small growth called a polyp which if it is found early and removed may stop the cancer before it starts. There are tests that can find polyps: double contrast barium enema, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy). A healthy lifestyle can help lower your chances of getting colon cancer.

To help lower your chances of getting colorectal cancer:

  • Get to and stay at a healthy weight.
  • Be physically active.
  • Limit the amount of alcohol you drink.
  • Eat a diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and less red or processed meat.

Myth #3: African Americans are not at risk for colorectal cancer.

The Truth:

African-American men and women are diagnosed with and die from colorectal cancer at higher rates than men and women of any other US racial or ethnic group. The reason for this is not yet understood.

Myth #4: Age does not matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer.

The Truth:

Over 90% of colorectal cancer cases are in people age 50 and older. The American Cancer Society and the Center for Disease Control recommends you start getting regular colon screening beginning at age 50. People who have colon or rectal cancer in their families may need to begin testing at a younger age. It is a good idea to talk to Dr. Howard Kaufman about when you should start getting tested.

Myth #5: It is better not to get tested for colorectal cancer because it’s deadly anyway.

The Truth: 

Colorectal cancer is often highly treatable, especially when diagnosed and treated early. The 5-year survival rate is about 90%, but because many people do not get tested, only about 4 out of 10 are diagnosed at this early stage when treatment is most likely to be successful.


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Howard Kaufman, MD

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Address: 10 Congress Street, Suite 300 Pasadena, CA 91105

Phone: (626) 397-5896
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