AIM’s Dr. Attariwala is currently in the middle of a study using whole body diffusion MRI scanning to research early diagnosis of lung and colon cancers.
Both cancers have been subject to stereotyping; lung cancer patients are often assumed smokers, while many people believe that older males make up the majority of colon cancer patients. While gender, age and lifestyle are causative associations of any type of cancer, there are always exceptions–and thus–many misconceptions about this deadly disease. Keep reading below to learn about some of the myths associated with both lung and colon cancer:
Misconceptions about Lung Cancer (Statistics from Lung Cancer Canada)
Misconception: Lung cancer affects smokers exclusively.
Reality: In western countries, approximately 15 per cent of lung cancers occur in patients who never smoked. The number is even higher in patients from Asian countries, at 30-40 per cent.
Misconception: Lung cancer strikes after middle-age.
Reality: There are more than 1,000 lung cancers diagnosed every year in patients under 50.
Misconception: Prostate and breast cancer have higher mortality rates than lung cancer in Canada.
Reality: At over 20,000 deaths annually, lung cancer nearly doubles mortality rates of prostate and breast cancer.
Misconceptions about Colon Cancer (from the Colorectal Cancer Association of Canada)
Misconception: Only men get colon cancer.
Reality: The disease affects men and women equally.
Misconception: A colorectal cancer diagnosis is fatal.
Reality: Colon cancer has a 90 per cent survival rate when caught in its early stages.
Misconception: Exercise and a healthy diet has nothing to do with whether or not you get colon cancer.
Reality: Both physical exercise and a diet rich in vegetables and fiber (as well as Vitamin D) are associated with lowered risks of colon cancer.