In May 2006 my mom—a vibrant and otherwise healthy 82-year-old African woman—was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer. Before her diagnosis I had never thought about colorectal cancer, but now I know that it is the second most deadly form of cancer and is also more prevalent among African Americans.
My mom had her surgery the Saturday before Mother’s Day and the only gift she asked of her six children was to get a colonoscopy. I scheduled mine as soon as I got home from visiting with her.
I’m telling my story to demystify the procedure and stress the benefits of getting screened. Colonoscopies are an easy and uncomplicated procedure and are crucial for preventing colorectal cancer and identifying cancer early so it can be treated. Nothing should get in the way of getting screened.
Liz Baxter – Portland