Recently, a researcher from UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center debunks common myths about colon cancer.
Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in both men and women, and there are a lot of misconceptions about the disease.
Zen Wainberg, MD, associate professor of hematology/oncology at the UCLA, suggests that there are 4 common myths about the cancer everyone should know.
Myth 1: Colon cancer only affects people over the age of 50.
Truth: More and more younger people are getting colon cancer.
Recent research suggests that there’s a larger group of people under the age of 50 getting colorectal cancer every year.
Myth 2: Screening can help prevent colorectal cancer, but a colonoscopy is painful and unpleasant.
Truth: A colonoscopy really isn’t as bad as it sounds. The screening can help prevent a lot of difficult problems later.
In addition, there are other screening tests people can choose. These methods can be just as good or nearly as good as a colonoscopy.
The best way is to talk to your doctor about easier ways to be screened that are less invasive, yet are approved and validated screening techniques.
Myth 3: I don’t know anyone with colon cancer so it must not really impact that many people.
Truth: Colon cancer is the third most common cause of cancer in men and women.
It affects 150,000 Americans a year and about 50,000 Americans end up dying from it.
Myth 4: I cannot do anything to prevent colon cancer.
Truth: On the contrary, you can do many things to prevent colon cancer. Many risk factors of the disease are bad lifestyle habits.
You can exercise regularly and eat a balanced healthy diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, and dietary fibers.
The biggest risk factors for colon cancer remain genetic predisposition, inflammatory bowel diseases, and family history.
The scientist suggests many scientists here at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center who are devoted to try and understand this better at a molecular level, which can subsequently lead to better treatments and or diagnoses.
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