(03/01/13) - Even though it is recommended for every adult once they turn 50,
only half of them actually have colonoscopies. So let's kick off Colo-rectal
Cancer Awareness Month with some good reasons to get that screening done.
The main thing is, if it is caught early enough, colon cancer is highly treatable. Ninety percent of people who are diagnosed with colon cancer are over the age of 50. But, Dawn Hill, of Flushing, was only 41 when she got her diagnosis. Dawn's journey began when she was 25, and found out she had Chron's disease.
From that point on, she says, colon cancer screening was a priority, "if you have a family history of it, and even if you don't and you have some form of inflammatory bowel disease, your risk for it goes way up, and my doctor wanted me to have colonoscopies anywhere from two to three years, just to make sure, and if they find polyps, they can remove them before they become cancerous."
Dawn's father was diagnosed with colon cancer in his 40s. While that, and her own history, made her extra vigilant, her cancer was still very advanced when it was found.
"And it was very aggressive and they weren't giving me really good odds."
The mother of five was determined, and is now a survivor, who wants to share her message of hope, "it's very hard. Science only goes so far, and you really have to do your part to heal yourself. And I'm not saying that always works, but you have to stay positive. And you have to be your own advocate. You know your body better than anyone else. And you just, you can't own it, you can't say 'this is it, I have cancer, I'm gonna die.' You can't think that."
Dawn is not only spreading the word - she is raising money for the American Cancer Society to help with the fight against colon cancer.
She will turn 45 on Mach 4, and decided to celebrate with a bowl-a-thon. It is at the Colonial Lanes, 6430 W. Pierson Rd., in Flushing, on Monday, March 4, 6-9 p.m. The cost is $25 for adults, with a $3 charge for shoes.
If you have not scheduled a colonoscopy, there is something you can do for free to start the colon cancer screening process. All month, McLaren Cancer Institute is offering free screening kits. To get one of the free kits, for people over 50, you can call 855-552- KNOW (5669) or visit www.Mclaren.org/cancer.
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