Have You Heard These Myths About Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer develops in the large intestine, which is the lower part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. If the cancer develops in the last few inches of the colon, it is known as rectal cancer. Colorectal cancers can be deadly, but they are also treatable and often preventable. Unfortunately, many people neglect to have the colon cancer tests that could save their lives. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, you can learn about the treatment options by consulting a doctor at a colon cancer treatment center in Baltimore, MD. In the meantime, find out the truth behind these common myths. colon - cancer

Myth: Most people with colon cancer are Caucasian men.

Women often neglect to get colon tests because of the misconception that this disease primarily affects men. Similarly, it’s often thought that colon cancer affects Caucasians far more than African-Americans. In fact, nearly as many women as men are diagnosed with colon cancer each year in the U.S. And while the reasons for this are not clear, African-American men and women are diagnosed with and die from colon cancer at higher rates than all other demographics in the U.S.

Myth: If I had colon cancer, I’d know it because of the symptoms.

Many people assume that they can avoid getting a colon test because they do not notice any unusual symptoms. Unfortunately, cancer can develop for quite a long time before noticeable symptoms arise. This is one reason why colon screening tests are so important. When symptoms do develop, they typically involve changes in bowel habits.

Myth: Colon cancer is not preventable.

The primary colon cancer screening test, known as a colonoscopy, is much more than just a screening tool. It allows doctors to identify polyps or unusual growths in the colon . Sometimes, these polyps can later become cancerous. During a colonoscopy, the doctor can safely remove the polyp to prevent it from becoming cancerous. Additionally, certain lifestyle habits are thought to have a protective effect against colorectal cancers. These include eating a primarily plant-based diet, avoiding alcohol or consuming it only in moderation, avoiding exposure to smoke, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.

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