This year alone, an estimated 134,490 adults in the United States will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer, and this number includes both colon and rectal cancer. As the third most common cancer in the world with nearly 1.4 million new cases diagnosed each year, colon cancer has devastated many families and communities. March was National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and although the month has come to a close, awareness and support continues to grow.
According to the National Cancer Institute, colorectal cancer begins in the colon or the rectum and often times, patients will develop growths called polyps. These polyps can be cancerous and cause rectal bleeding, severe stomach pains, and various levels of weakness and fatigue. Organizations such as Stop Colon Cancer Now and the International World Cancer Research Fund are working to support patients who are suffering with colorectal cancer, and are promoting frequent colon cancer screenings. These screenings have proven to save lives through early detection of polyps and other cancerous growths. The National Cancer Institute has also found that “overall colorectal cancer incidence and mortality rates have been declining over the past two decades; these declines have been attributed largely to increased use of screening tests.”
Beth Gomez is one colon cancer survivor that is a testament to the benefits of early screenings. She described her experiences to the Cancer Treatments Centers of America and wrote, “At the time, I was only 39. My doctor thought it best that I have a colonoscopy to check and see if there was something wrong. Days later, I went in for a colonoscopy. I remember my doctor came in the recovery room afterward and told me they had found a mass in my colon. He said that we should schedule surgery to remove it right away. As soon as possible, I had the colon surgery which was done laparoscopically.” Beth was diagnosed with Stage III colorectal cancer, but since she had a screening within days, she was able to make the necessary plans for chemotherapy and began the road to recovery. Today, Beth’s cancer is in remission, and she has colonoscopies done every year to make sure it hasn’t returned.
Beth is truly an inspiration, and Somnia supports patients like her who suffer from different forms of colorectal cancer. As an anesthesia practice management company, Somnia understands how important it is for patients to schedule colonoscopies when they are due for a screening. If you have questions about where to go to schedule your colon screening, please call us at 914.637.3536. We would be happy to put you in touch with one of our certified endoscopy centers. Since colon cancer impacts the lives of so many, we must come together and support patients through early prevention, and continue medical research to find a cure. If you or someone you love has a colon cancer success story, comment below!