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Colorectal Cancer

Dispelling some common myths about colorectal cancer

Here is a short Colorectal Cancer true or false quiz:

  1. Colorectal cancer affects older men only. 

    False. Colorectal cancer affects everyone equally, both men and women. But once we reach 50 years of age, we are at greater risk of developing it. 
  2. Colorectal cancer can usually be cured. 

    True. When detected early, it is usually curable. Over 90% of patients with a localized cancer confirmed to the colon or rectum are still alive five years after the initial diagnosis. 
  3. Getting tested for colorectal cancer is necessary for individuals who exhibit the common symptoms. 

    True. Both men and women over the age of 50 should get regular colorectal cancer screenings. The problem is that the symptoms are often silent so it's very important to get screened regularly, even if you have no symptoms.

    Approximately three-fourths of all new colorectal cancer cases occur in people with no known risk factors for the disease. 
  4. There is nothing I can do to help prevent colorectal cancer. 

    False. Colorectal cancer is in fact highly preventable. Here are some of the preventative measures that you can take:
    • Eat fruits and vegetables and foods and low-fat foods.
    • Get regular exercise.
    • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
    • Don't start smoking. If you smoke already, quit!
    • Beginning at age 50, get screened for colorectal cancer on a regular basis because it helps to identify colorectal cancer in its earliest stages.
  5. There really are no effective treatment options available for colorectal cancer. 

    False. The most effective treatment for any individual cancer patient depends on the type, grade, and stage of the cancer.

    Cancer can best be managed by surgery and radiation in the earlier stages. The later stages (when the cancer has spread to other areas) are best managed by chemotherapy options such as Camptosar®, Xeloda®, or 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) . 

    No two people respond exactly the same way to therapy, but the evidence indicates that one or all of these treatment options can be effective in aiding people who are living with colorectal cancer. 
  6. I cannot enjoy a good quality of life after I have been diagnosed with colorectal cancer. 

    False. Many people who are diagnosed with colorectal cancer can indeed enjoy a good quality of life. Support groups, effective treatment options, and supportive care all help cancer patients cope with the side effects of the treatments, not to mention the emotional and everyday concerns of living with cancer.
We hope that we have helped dispel a few of the most common myths about colorectal cancer with this quiz. If you follow the guidelines described in #4 above, you can greatly reduce your risk of developing it.

Article courtesy of www.cancer.ca.

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