Myths & facts about colon cancer

Lose the myths and get the facts about colon cancer screening

Myth: Colon cancer only affects men.

Fact: Colon cancer affects almost as many women as men—in fact, nearly 26,000 women in the United States die every year from the disease. Both men and women should get screened for colon cancer starting at age 50. Most health coverage plans, including Medicare, cover colonoscopy screening at age 50. Many plans do not require a referral.

Myth: If you have regular bowel movements and feel great, there's no reason to be screened for colon cancer.

Fact: Often there are no symptoms until the cancer is at an advanced stage. When colon cancer is caught early, before there are symptoms, most people can be treated successfully.

Myth: A colonoscopy is painful and takes a lot of time.

Fact: Today, patients experience little or no pain with a colonoscopy, and it takes less than an hour. Not bad for something that could save your life!

Source: American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, see