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What Your Genes Say About Your Cancer

Posted on July 22, 2013

Dr. Laura Porter, MD, stage IV colon cancer survivor and Colon Cancer Alliance Patient Advocate Medical Consultant.

After her recent trip to the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conference, we sat down with Dr. Laura Porter to hear more about the latest news in genetics and CRC. 

What is the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA)?

Did you know that doctors are now able to predict which treatments will work for you just by looking at your genes? And they’re getting better and better at it every day, thanks to the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). Read more

Presenting…Yolanda Austin!

Posted on July 17, 2013

Hero of the Month- Yolanda Austin

Yolanda Austin and Bonita Scott met at a St. Louis, Missouri church more than 30 years ago, and the two immediately hit it off. For 30 years, the duo remained best friends, and when Bonita was dealt a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis at just 41 years old, Yolanda stepped up, never missing a beat. Nearly four years later, Yolanda’s overwhelming and inspirational dedication to spreading awareness fills a void left by her best friend’s passing.

The Test & Treatment
In 2009, Bonita started experiencing abdominal pain. But, on the brink of having her first grandchild, put off going in for that colonoscopy until after the baby was born. In fact, it wasn’t until the baby was a few months old that she finally made the appointment. That’s when Bonita was dealt a stage IV colon cancer diagnosis.

Bonita started treatment in St. Louis but soon realized she wasn’t satisfied. Determined to have the best care possible in this fight for her life, she and her mom would make the 5 hour trek to Chicago, IL, where she worked with a team of doctors she trusted. Just a few months in, she was told her treatments weren’t helping – she ultimately decided to end treatment and return to St. Louis permanently. Read more

Healthy Living: Tips for a Better Night’s Sleep

Posted on July 15, 2013

Sleep Tips- Square

Sleep problems: something too many cancer patients experience while going through chemo. (Thank you, steroids.) But sleep is one of the most essential parts of living your best life. If you count yourself among the many experiencing chemo-induced sleep troubles, try these helpful tips, brought to you by our very own Jeannie Moore:

1. Be diligent about your bedtime routine. 
Creating a set bedtime and wake-up time can not only help you fall asleep, it can help you stay asleep. Do your best to establish a routine so that your body knows when it’s time to wind down. 

2. Limit daytime naps.
If you can’t imagine giving up your daily nap completely, try to limit your mid-day shuteye to only 20 or 30 minutes. If possible, avoid napping in the late afternoon or early evening so that when you really want to wind down for the night, you’re tired enough to do so.

Read more

Never Too Young: Michele Davis

Posted on July 10, 2013

Under 50- Michelle Davis

We’ve met hundreds of young colon cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. In fact, at last year’s National Conference, we focused solely on this issue. We heard your stories, talked with the experts and now we’ve launched our Never Too Young campaign to spell it out: you’re never too young for colon cancer. Michele Davis learned this at just 30 years old, after noticing some persistent bleeding. This is Michele’s story, in her own words.

A Diagnosis

I left the gastroenterologist with an appointment for a colonoscopy. My doctor told me he’d never seen colon cancer in someone my age. I would be his youngest patient to receive such a diagnosis – a contest I really didn’t want to win. I have no family history of colon cancer. Genetic testing was not revealing and, with exception of a brief history of smoking, I carry no risk factors. This can truly happen to anyone.

When I was told I had colon cancer, I remember trying to comprehend those words as if they were in another language. I kept trying to solve the puzzle and figure a way out of this situation. I wanted to run, to get away from danger. In the end, you can’t run from yourself; the only way out was through. Read more

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