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Clinical Trials & Paying it Forward

Posted on April 20, 2017

Without clinical trials, it would be a safe bet to say I may not have survived stage III rectal cancer 13 years ago. I certainly would be different today.

We often forget every drug and medical device that is available to patients today is thanks to those who were part of the trial that got them approved. The FDA approval process is extremely thorough and rigorous – every drug and device must prove safety, benefit and effectiveness for patients.

Without clinical trials, no drug – no matter how promising in the lab – can become available to the thousands of cancer patients whose lives are literally depending on new treatments. Read more

How to Handle the Question, “Will I Die?”

Posted on April 7, 2017

We tend to associate grief with dying. However, there are many levels of loss. Any life changing experience can lead to grief.

My diagnosis with stage III rectal cancer came as a shock. After all, I was only 43 with two young daughters. I wasn’t ready to die. I didn’t know what to do. I had so many questions.

Early on my biggest question was my own mortality. Would I die? (Spoiler alert: No.) Read more

Want to prevent cancer? Get a dog.

Posted on March 22, 2017

This blog was written by our Patient & Family Support Navigator Crawford Clay and originally appeared on Allsup’s All Things Disability Blog as part of their Blog-a-Thon for Colon Cancer.

Want to prevent cancer? Get a dog.

That’s the best advice I’ve ever received. We got our dog, Ranger, Christmas of 2005. That was the year I finished treatment for stage III rectal cancer. That was 12 years ago. I’ve been cancer free this whole time. Read more

Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Your Colonoscopy

Posted on March 15, 2017

When it comes to colon cancer, it is more important than ever to take charge of your health and act as your own healthcare advocate. Getting comfortable with a procedure like a colonoscopy will happen when you are informed and are able to approach your medical provider with your questions and concerns. While the following common questions below may not completely cover every concern you have, they are great starting points to get the discussion rolling about this procedure.    Read more

How to prepare for your colonoscopy

Posted on March 8, 2017

Although there are a variety of available colon cancer screening tests (including new, at-home options as well as a blood test) a colonoscopy remains the gold standard. While we always say the best test is the one that gets done, a colonoscopy is still your most thorough option. That’s because in many cases, when individuals are screened on time, doctors can detect and remove polyps before they become cancerous or find cancer in its earliest stages when it is easily treatable.

But we won’t lie – while the colonoscopy prep has improved over the past decade, it still isn’t what most people describe as something they enjoy. Read more