Debunking Colorectal Cancer Myths

Despite awareness campaigns, many people are missing out on preventing and treating colorectal cancer.

More than 141,000 people are expected to be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year. Sadly, it’s the third leading cause of cancer death in men and women, according to national cancer statistics.

But it doesn’t have to be.

American Cancer Society officials are trying to debunk common myths about colorectal cancer to save more lives.

Unfortunately, many people believe that only men can contract colorectal cancer. But the disease is equally common among women.

Another myth is that colorectal cancer can’t be treated, leading some to forgo testing. Not only can colorectal cancer be treated, but if it’s found early, the five-year survival rate is about 90 percent, according to cancer statistics. American Cancer Society officials say because many people are not getting tested, only 4 out of 10 cases are diagnosed at the early stage when cancer treatment can be most successful.

It’s important to remember that getting tested when you turn 50 years old is vital to your health. More than 90 percent of colorectal cancers occur after the age of 50.

Perhaps the best news about colorectal cancer is that it can be prevented. Doctors can remove polyps they find during testing, stopping cancer before it even starts.

Other steps to lower your risk of colorectal cancer include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Staying physically active
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains
  • Eating fewer red or processed meats

+ Learn About Colorectal Cancer Screening

+ Find More Information about Cancer Treatment

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, American Cancer Society

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