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Colon cancer commercials

Posted Oct 02 2008 4:23pm
Last night, I saw a commercial with Diane Keaton talking about colon cancer and how people over the age of 50 should get screened. She was talking about the importance of colonoscopies and meeting with your doctors. Also of course, giving money for colon cancer research.
It made me think of how many people go undiagnosed until they have a problem. Take me for example. I was fine until January when I started to have some digestive issues. I thought it was my diet, so I just started taking some over-the-counter medications and was hoping for the best. It wasn't until that night when I started to bleed continuously that led me to the hospital where I found out I had cancer.
My point is, when my grandmother died of colorectal cancer in 2006, no doctor ever told me to get tested or screened. They acted like it wasn't a concern at all. But if they did show some concern and just wanted to make sure, they would have caught my cancer much earlier and my current diagnosis might be different. From what my doctors are telling me now, I had this cancer probably for the past two years.
Now I'm not saying for everyone to get tested for every single cancer in the world, but be aware. If there is even one case of cancer in your family, get tested for that particular kind of cancer.
In my case, we have actually caught the culprit who gave me cancer, and it wasn't my grandmother. Tony Reed of The Fort Bragg Advocate-News (my hometown) did an article on May 1, 2008 where the local Georgia-Pacific mill is being pushed by the city Redevelopment Agency to test the local ground and water for dioxin bioremediation studies. Dioxin is a known chemical to cause cancer.
Holy cow, there's a potential cluster in Fort Bragg! My friend's father had colon cancer, my uncles' father died from colon cancer at 56 years old, my grandmother died from colon cancer at 70 and now I have colon cancer. All of us lived either in the middle of town or in the outskirts. We're not sure if the dioxin got into the city or the well water systems; neither of my uncles can recall if our house on Happy Lane was on city water or if we had a working well.
To sort of confirm my family's theory, a man I talked with in the Oncology Treatment Room also lived in a town with a lumber mill in Louisiana. And guess which kind of cancer he was diagnosed with in his early 50s.
So don't wait until you're 50 to get screened for colon or any other type of cancer. If you're concerned about having a particular type, talk with your doctor. It may just save your life.
By the way, if you're wondering more about colon cancer symptoms, Yahoo! has a website dedicated to the second deadliest cancer.
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