Amy's Story: I was diagnosed at 41

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(Amy and her husband Robert, who she calls "my rock")
 "I participate in the Colon Cancer 5K due to my personal fight against Colon Cancer. 
 
"On December 1, 2010:  I went in for a routine colonoscopy after several symptoms that I had had for almost 2 years that I could no longer ignore.  I had ignore the symptoms for so long due to the fact that there was no cancer anywhere in my family (huge family) and I was only 39 when the symptoms started.
 
"December 1, 2010: I went in for a colonoscopy that my Gastro doc said was a routine colonoscopy for what he was almost certain hemorrhoids.  Surprise!!  Doctor Cox found 2 polyps and a tumor.  After a rush on the biopsy it was confirmed that at age 41 I had Stage 1 Colon Cancer. WOW - me colon cancer??  At age 41 - I always did like to things my way.
 
"But I know I got lucky - ignored my symptoms for 2 years and then to be diagnosed with only Stage 1 Colon Cancer.  Yes mom, I promise never to ignore anything again.  (Sorry had to put that in there for mom).
 
"December 16, 2010:  I have my surgery to remove my tumor and part of my colon.  I was very lucky.  Dr. Patrick Williams - my oncologist - determined I would not need chemo or radiation. 
 
"I now go in every 6 months for blood work and now I'm up to yearly cat scans to determine that I am still cancer free.
 
"Colon Cancer is a such a preventable disease.  We need to work on lowering the age for the recommended first colonoscopy.  We also need to work on getting more people to talk about Colon Cancer.  This is one disease we can - and WILL - beat.
 
"Please join our fight against this 'crappy' disease (LOL).  Join the Colon Cancer Prevention Project today."
 
Thank you.
 
---Amy Gnau Ganote, Louisville

Susan's Story: Screening Works

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"I live in NJ.  I have been blessed with having good insurance and doctors who supported my desire to get a colonoscopy before the recommended age 50.  I wanted this done even though I have no verified family history (a great great grandma had some issue that required a colostomy bag but that’s it).   So at age 47, they removed 6 polyps, 2 biggish.  No cancer in them.  I went back this year, and had another 3 removed. No cancer in them.  My doctor said (and I quote), “If we hadn’t taken these out, you would definitely have had cancer in 5 years”.  Very sobering thought.

"My parents don’t have polyps when they get their colonoscopies. I exercise, eat right, am not overweight, don’t smoke.   I am after my brother, who lives in WY, to get a colonoscopy – he is younger than I am and even more fit.  However, he does not have the insurance I have.   I have directed him to see about getting a free colonoscopy.  I keep after him to do this so hopefully, he will follow through.

That’s my story."

-- Susan Murray, New Jersey

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