ARNOLD FRIDLAND

March is the month that I raise my commitment  to advocate for colon cancer, because I know how tough this cancer is on a personal level. Funding for cancer research is crucial to develop better treatments for colorectal patients and those at risk for this dreadful disease. Colon cancer is preventable but we need every country in the world to make colon cancer screening a priority.”

SANDI STUPICA

“I had been feeling discomfort … but I thought I had a lactose intolerance or gluten intolerance. Until 2015, I had no signs of rectal bleeding…. Luckily, my doctor recommended a colonoscopy. When I went in, they discovered that I had over forty polyps, and a two-inch tumor closer to my rectum. I had stage III colorectal cancer at 29-years-old.”


ELAN FREEDY

Primary care physicians still only ask if you had incidences of cancer in you family – but for colorectal cancer, more nuance is needed. In my case, my father had pre-cancerous (adenomatous) polyps in his 40s, which means I probably should have started screening in my mid 30s. Pre-cancerous polyps are actually stage 0 cancer – but nobody really asks these questions. Adult children need to be talking to their parents and know if their parents had pre-cancerous polyps, and what age they were found; then discuss this information with their primary care physicians to determine whether they need early screening.”

KEVIN HAYS

“I want people to know that you’re never too young for colon cancer. This is a disease that affects men and women alike and it’s affecting young people at an increasing rate. If you’re over 50 you should be getting screened but if you have any family history, signs or symptoms you should be talking to your doctor about screening regardless of your age. If I had waited to until I was 50 it would have been too late.”

DAWN GAGLIARDI

As a stage IV survivor myself (diagnosed at the age of 31 with no family history), I understand the need to continue to raise awareness and educate people about this terrible disease. March is now the month I associate with not only my battle, but the need to step up strides in education and awareness on colon cancer, especially the growing occurrence in those under the age of 50! It is true what they say; this is not an old man’s disease any longer. At the same time, the importance of reaching out to those at the screening age of 50 is of the utmost urgency as well. Colon cancer, when caught early, IS treatable!

JASMIN MEJIA

“I volunteer with the Colon Cancer Alliance because my mother died of colon cancer at 42 years old. I am now 42 years old and it saddens me to think that if it hadn’t been for my mother’s death, I too might have colon cancer. I’ve had two colonoscopies that have resulted in the removal of polyps. Both times, the polyps were benign, but had I not gotten them taken care of, they could have become cancerous because I would not have had an exam until later on in life.


PATSY BERRY

“This year my husband and I will be celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary. We have a son and a daughter, five grandchildren and a cairn terrier, Max, who pretty much runs things around our house. I was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer when I was 58.”

Colon Cancer Awareness Month is Generously Supported By: