Fact or Fiction

Here are some common misconceptions about colon cancer and rectal cancer.

FICTION: Colorectal cancer is a manís disease.
FACT: Women are at risk of colorectal cancer and should begin screening at age 50, sooner if you have a family history of colorectal cancer.

FICTION: Colorectal cancer always presents with symptoms.
FACT: Early colorectal cancer often has no symptoms, which is why screening via colonoscopy or other methods is so important.

FICTION: All patients who have surgery for colon or rectal cancer will require a permanent colostomy bag.
FACT: Most colorectal cancers can be cured without the need for a permanent colostomy bag.

FICTION: Once surgery exposes cancer to the air, the cancer will spread.
FACT: This is simply not true, though surgeons say they frequently see patients who have heard this.

FICTION: Most patients with colon and rectal cancer who undergo chemotherapy do not experience hair loss.
FACT: Hair loss depends to a large extent on what drugs a patient receives and in what doses. Many chemotherapy patients do not lose their hair.