Colon Cancer, The Silent Killer

He could've been alive right now and had a lot more years if he had just had a colonoscopy.
Debbie Carter knows the heart ache of losing a loved one too early because he put off getting a procedure that could have saved his life.
"I had been trying to get him to have a colonoscopy for 7, 8 or 9 years which he didn't...and so it was stage 4 when they did the surgery, says Carter."
Her husband died in october of 2010, Six months after being diagnosed with colon cancer.
Carter says the cancer had spread to his liver and there was nothing they could do.
They were told his liver just had lesions too numerous to count.
Doctors says Mr. Carter probably had the cancer for up to 5 years before his death.
Mrs. Carter says it was very hard to watch her husband slowly go down, especially since if it had been caught early, he would probably be alive today.
She says "If you want to live the rest of your life or a good life, get a colonoscopy -- I wouldn't be sitting here by myself right now."
Mr. Carter was 61. The recommended age to begin getting a regular colonscopy is 50.
"That's assuming you don't have a family history. If you have a family history of colon cancer then you should start at 40 or even earlier if there's an early family history, says Dr. Chris Wells, a Panama City gastroenterologist.
There are no signs or symptoms of early colon cancer and that makes getting a colonoscopy all that more crucial.
Dr. Wells says "what we do through colonscopy either detect cancer early or by removing polyps or precancerous growths we can prevent colon cancer from ever developing."
Mrs. Carter urges you not to wait.. to find a doctor now
"I never thought I'd be a widow at age 61."
The 5 year survival rate for early stage colon cancer is 85%.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Pete Location: Portland on Apr 13, 2011 at 03:30 PM
    I had a colonoscopy in 2005. They found several polyps thatwere removed. I was advised to come back in three years for a follow up colonoscopy. I scheduled and had the procedure in 2008 with the same doctor who performed the original exam. At that time I was diognosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The cancer had metastasized to my liver. The doctor informed me that he may have missed a polyp. I have tried to find a medical expert who would confirm this. They are a very tight family, and I was not able to get any doctor to provide a expert opinion for a lawsuit that I filed. So much for doing as I was advised from a medical standpoint.
  • by Reba Location: Panama City Beach, Fl on Apr 7, 2011 at 06:46 AM
    I agree. My husband had a blood disorder and doctor's gave him a 5-year life span at 65. Instead he passed away from colon cancer at 70. His colonscopy results found a polyp located in the upper right that the surgeon could not reach. My husband refused surgery and died from the cancerous polyp instead of his other disease.
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