How Can You Beat Colorectal Cancer? Regular Screening is the Key That Could Save Your Life

colon_cancer_treatment_patient_story

Larry Weber knew he should get a colonoscopy.

After all, he turned 60 last May, and the American Cancer Society recommends getting a colonoscopy when you turn 50. 

His wife Terry got her first colonoscopy at 51, and again in February of this year when she turned 56. 

“I knew I had to get him in and he kept saying, ‘After I retire.’ Well, he retired in August and it was time,” she says.

It turned out Terry’s good example (and gentle nagging) led to an early diagnosis for Larry. After Terry got her regularly scheduled colonoscopy with Christian Capener, MD, at Riverton Hospital, Larry went in for his first colonoscopy. Dr. Capener found the early stages of colon cancer and recommended that Larry get surgery. Terry put her own scheduled hip surgery on hold so Larry could get his cancer removed immediately.

“The hardest part was waiting a couple days for the lab to come back and let us know if it spread or if they got it all,” says Larry. 

The surgery was a success and Larry is cancer-free. He doesn’t have to undergo chemotherapy or radiation. Larry plans on enjoying a long retirement with Terry, their children, and their nine grandchildren. He now plans to get regular colonoscopies so he can make sure the cancer doesn’t return. “I plan to tell all my friends and family to get their colonoscopies,” he says. “It saved my life.”

“Larry is a success story because colon cancer is preventable and treatable when it’s detected early,” says Dr. Capener.

March is National colorectal cancer awareness month

Here are some important facts on colorectal cancer:

  • Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States. It affects men and women equally; everyone needs to be screened.
  • Colorectal cancer arises from pre-cancerous growths or polyps that grow in the colon. When they’re detected early, polyps can be removed, which prevents them from progressing to colorectal cancer. While early detection of any cancer is important, PREVENTION is powerful.
  • Many people don’t realize that colorectal cancer is highly preventable. And unlike other cancer screenings, which can only detect a problem, a colonoscopy can prevent colorectal cancer by removing precancerous polyps during the exam.
  • One in three adults — almost 23 million Americans between ages 50 and 75 — is not getting tested for colorectal cancer as recommended.
  • According to the American Cancer Society, the colon cancer death rate in this country could be cut in half if Americans simply followed recommended screening guidelines. Last year alone, more than 50,000 people died of colorectal cancer in the United States.
  • You should get your screening colonoscopy beginning at age 50, sooner if you have a family history of colon cancer.
  • Schedule your screening colonoscopy today. It could save your life!