Common Misconceptions of Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the third most common type of cancer in the United States. However, there are many misconceptions about colorectal cancer, which can cause it to be missed. The key thing about colorectal cancer is that it can be spotted early on if you know what to look for. So push aside any previous misconceptions you have had about colorectal cancer and be sure to keep up with your health and doctor visits if you have had any of these common misunderstandings.
Age Groups Affected
Many people falsely believe that only older adults get colorectal cancer. In reality, anyone can develop this type of cancer at any age. You don’t need to be over 50 or 60 to get it because there is no specific age requirement.
This form of cancer can affect anyone at any age, as it develops from changes in cells lining the interior of your colon or rectum over time. In fact, over the past decade, the rate of colorectal cancer in Americans under age 50 increased by approximately 2.2% per year.
Signs and Symptoms
One of the most common misconceptions about colorectal cancer is that it is a “silent killer.” This misconception can cause people to feel like they are not in any danger because they have no symptoms. It’s believed that the early stages of this disease do not have any signs or symptoms, but that is not always the case.
Although it’s true that not all cases of colorectal cancer cause pain, some can present with bowel obstruction, constipation, blood in the stool, or abdominal discomfort. Either way, it’s important to at least get your first colonoscopy screening by the age of 45 — and sooner if these symptoms are prominent or if the disease runs in your family.
The Truth Behind Colonoscopies
It’s a common fear that a colonoscopy is an unpleasant experience that no one would want to go through if they didn’t need it. However, you have nothing to fear if you plan accordingly.
A colonoscopy can help detect and diagnose any abnormalities in your digestive tract or intestines that could be life-threatening if left untreated. It’s important to note that there are different preparation methods depending on what type of examination you need. Some doctors will prescribe medication to flush out your system before the exam, while others may recommend avoiding solid foods before the procedure and sticking only to liquids. Either way, your doctor will ensure you’ll have all the steps you’ll need beforehand.