It’s the third leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. But many people forego getting screened for colon-rectal cancer until it’s too late. The fact is a simple screening can save your life.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), screenings for colon-rectal cancer are designed to find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they become cancerous. These screenings also can catch cancer it its early stages when it’s likely to respond to treatment best. When caught early enough, colon-rectal cancer has a 90 percent cure rate.
“I have long been an advocate for the importance of prevention, and treatment of colorectal cancer,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network hematologist Maged Khalil, MD, of Hematology-Oncology Associates. “Colorectal cancer is highly preventable with the appropriate screening measures and lifestyle changes. Prevention is better than cure.”
The CDC recommends regular screenings after the age of 50 and continuing them until age 75. It’s also advised for people under the age of 50 who have had family members with colon-rectal cancer or have had inflammatory bowel disease. The incidence of colon-rectal cancer is higher among African-Americans. Read More
When Abrahana Diaz tells the story of her breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, she is particularly thankful for three things: early detection, the support of her patient navigator and Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) care team, and her spiritual strength.
Diaz relied on all three during her journey that started when her annual mammogram detected a possible calcification in her right breast. Six months later, her follow-up mammogram determined it was a mass, and a subsequent biopsy found Stage I cancer.
In this sixth weekly installment of a series called Many Faces of Breast Cancer written by Jennifer Fisher, Diaz shares her experience getting a lumpectomy and then radiation, and tells how she relied on financial and emotional support from patient navigator Maritza Chicas, RN, and her entire cancer team at LVHN. Read her story. Read More
Darlene Heffelfinger personifies the importance of doing breast self-exams monthly. She found a lump in her breast that a doctor’s physical exam, a mammogram, an ultrasound and even a needle biopsy all concluded were “normal breast tissue.”
But Heffelfinger knows her body, and she knew things weren’t normal. She pushed the issue until a lumpectomy determined she had breast cancer.
The 47-year-old was swept into a journey of mastectomy, breast reconstruction, chemotherapy and radiation. When it ended, she was depressed.
Heffelfinger described her experience and shared a lesson she learned – even strong women need help – with writer Jennifer Fisher for a series called Many Faces of Breast Cancer. Read her story. Read More
Does someone you know have cancer? The encouraging news is 70 percent of people diagnosed with cancer will live at least five or more years. More encouraging news: you can help enhance the quality of that person’s life and care.
“Supportive relationships can be as effective as medical interventions in the treatment of cancer,” says Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) gynecologic oncologist Richard Boulay, MD, with Gynecologic Oncology Specialists. Boulay speaks from the heart. Both his wife (pictured above) and father are cancer survivors. “I’ve been involved in their journeys in so many ways,” he says. “It’s made me a different person.” Read More
Cancer is an overwhelming diagnosis. So when Stephanie Begovich, 56, learned she had breast cancer, she found comfort by taking control.
Begovich stuck with her routine – continuing to work full-time and ride her bike 10 miles each way –and didn’t let her diagnosis prevent her from doing things.
“Choose something that you can enjoy and feel in control of,” she says.
She also broke down her treatment into stages so the journey felt more manageable.
Begovich shared these and other tips from her personal experience with writer Jennifer Fisher for a series called Many Faces of Breast Cancer. Read her story. Read More