Time can get away from us, as we struggle each day to make ends meet. Today, I want to remind everyone over 50 of every race and ethnicity, particularly black women and men, to have a colonoscopy, or one of the other tests for colon cancer, performed as soon as possible. Colon cancer is a silent killer, meaning that you cannot feel a cancerous polyp until it is nearly too late.
Blacks die from colon cancer at twice the rate of whites, mainly because the disease is so advanced by the time many blacks are tested. Historically, blacks have less trust in doctors, but sometimes you have to let go of the past and do what is best for you, even if you are scared of the answers.
It is not the prettiest of subjects, and it does not give a warm and fuzzy feeling, but it is a necessary topic. I was blessed to have a pain in my right side, and when the doctors tried to find the source of my pain, they discovered a mass in my colon. I was 56 years old.
I knew that I should have had a colonoscopy at 50, but I was in college working towards my Ph.D and just got so busy that I never even thought about it. Thankfully, God was looking out for me, for the pain in my side got so bad that I had to ask for help. God finally got my attention!
I am alive ten years after cancer surgery because my colon cancer was discovered early. The pain in my side? Scar tissue from an old appendectomy that was pressing on my small intestines. Without that pain, I do not know when I would have gotten around to having the test done, for I never slowed down after earning my doctorate to worry about my health. I have never been so happy to suffer pain!
If you are 50 or older, or if you have a family history of colon cancer, call your doctor tomorrow, or if you do not have insurance, go to a free clinic at a local trauma hospital and ask about a test for colon cancer. It will be one of the best decisions of your life! What are you waiting for? Get up and get to it!