Being informed is important. Being misinformed can be dangerous. Let’s break down some myths people may have about colon cancer and prevention.
Myth: If you don’t have a family history of colon cancer or stomach problems, you don’t need to be tested.
Fact: While a family history increases your chances of developing colon cancer, it is not the sole determining factor. Men and women over age 50 should begin regular screenings for colon cancer, regardless of family history.
Myth: If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, you do not need to be tested for colon cancer.
Fact: Regular screening is the key to detecting colon cancer in its early stages or before it develops. By the time symptoms are displayed, the cancer may have advanced to a higher stage.
Myth: Colon cancer is a “men’s disease.”
Fact: Colon cancer is just as common in women as it is men. In 2012, the American Cancer Society estimated 70,000 women and 73,000 men would be diagnosed. Everyone should be screened.
Myth: Colon cancer can’t be prevented.
Fact: Screening tests can detect polyps that may or may not be cancerous. The polyps can be removed, decreasing the chances of developing colon cancer. Early detection is key to successful prevention.
Myth: Age is not a risk factor.
Fact: While colon cancer can develop at any age, your risk increases at age 50 or higher. Regular colon cancer screening should begin for men and women of average risk at age 50. Talk to you doctor if your family history or personal medical history makes you a candidate for earlier screening.
Myth: There is only one way to be screened for colon cancer.
Fact: Many different screening methods now exist, including an in-home option.
Colon cancer is treatable and preventable. Routine screening and early intervention is the key to both. Talk to you physician about screening options today.