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Think You Know? Myths (Excuses) and Facts about Colorectal Cancer Screening

March 25, 2018

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There’s a lot of information out there about colorectal cancer and colonoscopies, that it can be hard to sort fact from fiction. We’re here to help! Test your knowledge below and see if you fall into any of these information gaps.

See Also: The top 5 things you need to know to prevent colon cancer

Fact or Myth?
Myth #1: “There is no colorectal cancer in my family.”
Truth: Most (85%) colorectal cancer is found in those with no family history of it. Start screening at age 50 (age 45 for African Americans), even if you have no risk factors.
Myth #2: “I take really good care of myself.”
Truth: Health lifestyle lowers your risk, but does not eliminate it. Colorectal screening is one way to take care of yourself! If you have a colon, you are at risk for colorectal cancer.
Myth #3: “I know my body and can tell when something is wrong.”
Truth: Polyps and early/small cancer does not usually cause any symptoms. Regular screening, especially with colonoscopy, is the best way to prevent cancer or to find it early.
Myth #4: "I am too young to have colorectal cancer."
Truth: About 10% of those who get colorectal cancer are under age 50 – and that percentage appears to be increasing over time. If you have persistent rectal/stool bleeding or abdominal pain, talk with your doctor about what might be the cause. Don’t wait!
Myth #5: "I am too old to get screened."
Truth: The likelihood of colorectal cancer increases as we age. Elders who are generally healthy, and those who have had colon polyps in the past, should talk with their doctor about continued screening after age 75.
Myth #6: "I really don't want a colonoscopy - it's gross!"

Truth: Almost everyone who does it says, "not nearly as bad as I had thought". The key benefit of a colonoscopy is that it can help prevent cancer. If pre-cancerous polyps are found, they can be removed.

The Bottom Line (pun intended): Colonoscopy is the best prevention!

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