I was checked for colon cancer at the age of 39, after fatigue, blood in stool and after a massive loss of weight. I never thought of colon cancer because there is no family history of it in my family. January 28th 2011 changed my life and my wife’s as well as our families for ever. I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. After chemo, radiation and surgery to give me a permanent colostomy. I am 2 years cancer free. I truly believe we all need screening for this type of cancer and other type’s sooner. I am back to working full time and enjoying life with my wife, family and friends to the fullest. I suggest, do not ever use the phrase (that can not happen to me). Go get screened. – Earl Buck III
Colorectal cancer is virtually completely preventable if screenings and, if necessary, treatment is done early enough. Why wouldn’t you avoid the possibility of having to deal with the trauma of cancer by having the screening. The alternative is so much worse. This is one thing that I can do to prevent me from getting colorectal cancer. It is a no brainer to make the decision to have the screening done. In my case the doctor found and removed a polyp and I will be going back for a screening 5 years from the procedure instead of the usual 10.
Ken, Dallas Resident
For my first screening a friend had recently gone through the procedure and recommended I do the same, also in the early 90s had a close friend die at 56 years old from colon cancer progression due to late detection. Screening, it’s a minor inconvenience to a preventable negative consequence.
- Greg Sweet Home Resident
I had my first colonoscopy in my 30s because of my family history. My grandfather had colon cancer; he died after it spread to his liver. When my sister and mother were screened, the doctors removed polyps, and now they’re fine. If the procedure is a little uncomfortable, a little embarrassing, just remember: If colon cancer is detected early, it can be treated and you can go on to live a very long life. We need to drop that guard down and look at the big picture.
Jeff Johnson- juvenile probation officer for Deschutes County, Bend
I got screened for colorectal cancer when I was 50 because my doctor recommended it, and several of my friends encouraged me. Then in 2006, my friend Wendy Huntley died of colon cancer. Her friends and husband started Wendy’s Wish to raise money for cancer patients with expenses not covered by insurance. We also want to educate our community about the importance of screening for early detection. Early detection of colon cancer allows for much better outcomes and treatment.
Cindy Pierce-teacher-librarian at Mountain View High School, Bend
I stay in pretty good shape, I try to eat the right foods. But you don’t know what’s in your colon until you look in there. At age 63, it was just time to get checked. They didn’t find any polyps; the doctor said to repeat the colonoscopy in five years. With colorectal cancer, if you get it early enough, you can take care of it. If you don’t, it’s too late…Black men in general don’t like to go to doctors and do that kind of personal stuff. If I can encourage more black men to get to the doctor, I want to do that.
Cornelius “Mac” McCormick, retired university administrator and track coach
Summit High School, Bend
I lost my husband to cancer, and my son has survived throat cancer. Cancer is so prevalent in all parts of our body. It’s so important to take an easy test and have the peace of mind that you’re okay. It’s not like surgery and surgery could be the alternative if you don’t get the test.
Corinne Martinez, owner of Wilderness Garbage and Recycling, LaPine
I had my first colonoscopy around age 50. They found a few polyps that turned out to be noncancerous. I changed my diet a bit: more fruits and vegetables, less hamburgers. I went back five years later for another colonoscopy and the doctors didn’t find anything…You do the test, the results come back, and you sleep better. You’re glad you did it, and you’re good to go. Why not do it?
Carson Meyer, Sisters
Having a colonoscopy saved my life or at a minimum has prolonged it. Two weeks after turning 50 I had a colonoscopy because it is recommended at this milestone age. I had no family history of colon cancer and had no symptoms. (I know the importance of cancer screenings because my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer after an annual mammogram). The screening revealed stage 4 colon cancer. I started chemo therapy right way, then had surgery to remove all the cancerous lesions and am cancer free today. If I had waited even a few months, my treatment options and outcome would have been much different. SCREENINGS SAVE LIVES! Unlucky for me, my cancer started growing before age 50 but if you are over 50 OR have a family history of colon cancer OR you are having any symptoms, GO GET SCREENED and encourage your loved ones to do it too!
My life recently changed when I was diagnosed with gallbladder cancer at age 46. Luckily it was caught and treated in time—Teaching me the importance of early diagnosis. So when two family members were recently diagnosed with colon cancer, I didn’t hesitate to talk with my doctor about scheduling a colonoscopy. I got screened, and my doctor was able to find and remove a polyp right then, before it turned cancerous. I’m so glad I didn’t wait—This screening can save your life!”
Val Ligon – Roseburg