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Colon Cancer: Myths and Truths

Myths and Truths about Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in Iowa. Don't let these five common myths stop you from getting the lifesaving screening tests you need, when you need them!
Myth: Colorectal cancer is a man’s disease.
Truth: Colorectal cancer is just as common among women as men.

Colorectal cancer is a man’s disease. Colorectal cancer is just as common among women as men.
Myth: Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented.
Truth: In many cases, colorectal cancer can be prevented. Colorectal cancer usually starts with a small growth called a polyp. If the polyp is found early through screening, doctors can remove it and stop colorectal cancer before it starts.

Colorectal cancer cannot be prevented. In many cases, colorectal cancer can be prevented. Colorectal cancer usually starts with a small growth called a polyp. If the polyp is found early through screening, doctors can remove it and stop colorectal cancer before it starts.
Myth: Race is not a risk factor for colorectal cancer.
Truth: Colorectal cancer is common among all racial and ethnic groups, but African American men and women are at a higher risk than other groups in the United States.

Race is not a risk factor for colorectal cancer.Colorectal cancer is common among all racial and ethnic groups, but African American men and women are at a higher risk than other groups in the United States.
Myth: Age doesn’t matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer.
Truth: More than 90 percent of colorectal cancers are found in people age 50 and older. For this reason, the American Cancer Society® recommends you start screening for the disease at age 50. People who are at increased risk for colorectal cancer – for example, those with colorectal cancer or colon polyps in their families–may need to begin screening at a younger age. You should talk to your doctor about your specific situation and when you should begin screening.

Age doesn’t matter when it comes to getting colorectal cancer. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancers are found in people age 50 and older. For this reason, the American Cancer Society® recommends you start screening for the disease at age 50. People who are at increased risk for colorectal cancer – for example, those with colorectal cancer or colon polyps in their families – may need to begin screening at a younger age. You should talk to your doctor about your specific situation and when you should begin screening.
Myth: If you have colorectal cancer, it’s better not to know because there’s nothing the doctors can do and it will probably kill you.
Truth: Colorectal cancer is often highly treatable. If colorectal cancer is found early, 90 percent of patients will be treated successfully. But because many people are not getting screened, only 4 out of 10 cases are found at this early stage, when treatment is so successful. That is why it is so important to get screened.

If you have colorectal cancer, it’s better not to know because there’s nothing the doctors can do and it will probably kill you. Colorectal cancer is often highly treatable. If colorectal cancer is found early, 90 percent of patients will be treated successfully. But because many people are not getting screened, only 4 out of 10 cases are found at this early stage, when treatment is so successful. That is why it is so important to get screened.

For more information about steps you can take to stay well and prevent colorectal cancer, visit http://bit.ly/PreventableTreatableBeatable.