Myths and Facts About Colon Cancer or Colorectal Cancer that Are Often Misguided – Colorectal cancer or also known as colon cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men. Usually, cancer cells grow at the end of the lower digestive tract.

Doctors at Parkway Cancer Center, Singapore, Dr Zee Ying Kiat said, colon cancer can be treated until cured as long as it is detected early. Unfortunately, the disease is often asymptomatic.

Therefore, doctors advise the public to carry out early detection, especially people who are at risk of developing colorectal cancer or who are over 50 years old.

In order not to misunderstand colorectal cancer, Dr. Zee explains the truth between the following myths and facts about colorectal cancer:

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Colon cancer (colorectal).  (Shutterstock)
Colon cancer (colorectal). (Shutterstock)

1. Myth: If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t have colon cancer

Fact: Can be diagnosed with colon cancer even though there are no symptoms

In its early stages of development, colorectal cancer may not cause any symptoms at all. More than half of the people diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year have no symptoms.

As cancer in the colorectum grows or spreads, symptoms are more likely to occur. Each person’s symptoms can vary, depending on the size and location of the cancer.

Common symptoms include blood in the stool, changes in bowel movements, persistent pain in the stomach, bloating or cramping, feeling that the intestines are not completely emptying, and sudden weight loss for no apparent reason.

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2. Myth: Colorectal cancer cannot be cured

Fact: Colorectal cancer is both preventable and curable

Colorectal cancer can be prevented by making dietary and lifestyle changes. Eat more fruits and vegetables and less saturated fat and processed meats. Do also exercise regularly, and keep your weight so as not to be obese.

Colorectal cancer can also be prevented through appropriate screening. It is important to get screened for colorectal cancer regularly.

Screening can not only detect colorectal cancer at an early stage, allowing for more effective treatment, but also helps to prevent cancer from occurring.

3. Myth: If you have polyps in the colon, it means you have colorectal cancer

Fact: Polyps are benign growths and do not mean they are cancer

Polyps or adenomas are benign growths. However, it can also turn into cancer over time. Therefore, it should be discarded if detected early.

Thus, colorectal cancer can be prevented through regular screening. Most colorectal cancers originate from adenomatous polyps, which are gland-like growths that develop on the mucous membrane that lines the large intestine.

Polyps usually take five to 10 years to become malignant. This provides a sufficiently long period of time to detect colorectal cancer when it is still in its non-malignant phase.