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Mar 1, 2013 10:03 AM by Marissa Torres

What you need to know about Colon Cancer

It's the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country-- and ironically-- Colon Cancer is also one of the most curable.

"I just tried to look at it positively and tell myself I would just get through it and everything would be okay," says Steve Espinoza, a survivor, diagnosed 2 years ago with Colon Cancer.

"I tried not to let the fear get to me or worry about what could possibly happen."

At the age of 48, Espinoza never thought he'd be fighting cancer. But soon the warning signs became intolerable.

Dr. Robert Hoyer with Memorial Hospital says some of the symptoms of Colon Cancer are a change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation, abdominal cramping, bloating, and some patients will have fatigue.

These symptoms should never be taken lightly, especially for anyone over the age of 50 or someone with a family history of Colon Cancer- like Espinoza.

Each year 150,000 Americans are diagnosed with Colon Cancer and if detected early, it's up to 90% curable.

"Patients who have screening colonoscopies are typically diagnosed 2-3 years prior to the time they would otherwise come in with symptoms."

Espinoza had the colonoscopy and the cancer was removed. He need 7 months of chemo and says he's now cancer free.

"You just don't want to think about these things, you just kind of hope that they'll never happen to you. But the reality is, it can happen to anyone. Getting tested is important."

He's right. Talking about our colon isn't always easy, but it's for that very reason people are shying away from the very thing that will save their lives- colonoscopies.

On Monday, we're take a closer look at the different types of colonoscopies and tell you which one is best for you.

 

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