A new Colon Cancer version of SURVIVEiT®’s Cancer Navigation Tool has just been released for colon cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. Our 5-step personalized planning tool was created by cancer survivors and medical experts to enable you to advocate for yourself and to achieve better outcomes throughout your entire cancer journey. Learn more about the Cancer Navigation Tool today.
Colon Cancer Prevention, Signs & Symptoms
According to the American Cancer Society, “it’s important to get checked if you have any of following problems. In many cases, people who have these symptoms do not have cancer. But you should talk to your doctor if you have any of them so the cause can be found and treated.
- A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days
- A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one
- Rectal bleeding with bright red blood
- Blood in the stool, which might make it look dark brown or black
- Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain
- Weakness and fatigue
- Losing weight without trying”
Stories from Colon Cancer Patients
Many colon cancer patients and survivors have shared their stories in order to spread awareness of this type of cancer, the symptoms that led to their diagnosis, their treatment experience, and life post-cancer. Here are some of those stories. These experiences can also help those diagnosed with colon cancer.
Survivor Story: Melissa Marshall
Singer, and songwriter, Melissa Marshall was 51 when she was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in September of 2013. She ignored the telltale signs of colorectal cancer, and ended up being fitted with an ostomy bag. After a lengthy batter Melissa was cured, and began a crusade of inspiration and education.
Patient Story: Stephanie Budgell
Hi, I’m Stephanie Budgell, a colorectal cancer survivor.
I was diagnosed in March 2020 at the age of 35. You could say before my diagnosis I was living my best life: married to a loving husband, raising two kids aged 2 and 4, mid-career, and what I thought was the healthiest time in my life.
As a mom with two young children, I was either pregnant or breastfeeding for a few years and I chalked up any mild symptoms up to that. Pregnancy can cause similar symptoms as colorectal cancer.
“My fear of colonoscopies was nothing compared to my fear of dying from colorectal cancer!”
I want to share my story of how a screening colonoscopy saved my life.
For two years my doctor kept reminding me that I needed to have a screening colonoscopy. I was perfectly healthy and had no family history of colon cancer. I had many reasons to procrastinate, but basically, out of fear of the test, the prep, and a few dozen lame excuses, I chose to ignore my doctor. It wasn’t until my husband dared me in front of my doctor that I agreed to the test.
To make a long story short, at the age of 52, I was diagnosed with rectal cancer. My fear of colonoscopies was nothing compared to my fear of dying from colorectal cancer!
Barbara’s Colon Cancer Story, Stage 3
Barbara shares her stage 3 colon cancer story, which began when she was just 42 years old. She details undergoing surgery to remove her colon (colectomy), how she got through recovery, and her two treatments with chemotherapy.
In her story, Barbara also highlights navigating life after her colon cancer diagnosis, including how she advocated for herself as a patient, how she was able to ask for the right support, managing through scanxiety, and transitioning into survivorship.
Patient Perspective – Gary Waymire, Colorectal Cancer | Video
After a large polyp was discovered in Gary Waymire’s rectum following a routine colonoscopy, he sought a second opinion at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Jonathan Efron, M.D., director of colorectal surgery, and his multidisciplinary team used a series of aggressive and innovative surgical procedures as part of Waymire’s treatment plan. Waymire, now cancer-free, makes the most out of life’s simple pleasures, including walking 8 to 9 miles each day and spending precious moments with his wife, Dawn Waymire.