In this program we will explore the lives of colon cancer patients, and speak to leading medical experts about screening, diagnosis, and treatment. They will explain that both men and women are at risk for colon cancer, which usually develops in individua
Male Speaker: Colon cancer, it's a diagnosis that can be devastating, but even advanced colon cancer doesn't have to be in automatic death sentence. Brian McCauley: In the early stage, it just takes controlling your life you can't plan. Male Speaker: Brian McCauley was 50-years old had always been active and didn't have any health problems. He was shocked, when he was diagnosed with the advanced colon cancer. Brian McCauley: I had comeback from a vacation in Hawaii with my family, and noticed some blood in my stool, so I did the obvious thing and I went to the family doctor. Male Speaker: Brian work long hours, but also enjoys spending time with his wife and their three children. Brian's diagnosis came on his youngest son's fourth birthday. Eve McCauley: Brian and I were told that we had to schedule the colon surgery immediately. We went down to the parking garage and got in one of our cars, separate cars and cried. Male Speaker: The tears quickly get way to determination to be colon cancer. Brian worked with an oncologist who outlined treatment choices. With the help of his family, Brian chooses a forceful approach to fighting his cancer. Brian McCauley: The plan that we came up with was just as aggressive as you could possibly do without killing me. Male Speaker: To get a handle on what colon cancer is and how it develops. Let's take a look inside the body. The colon has made up of six feet of twisting and turning sections of the bowl. Sometimes cells inside the colon divide in an abnormal way, resulting in the growths called polyps. Gastrointestinal oncologist David Ilson explains why it's important to detect polyps early. Dr. David Ilson: Colon cancers usually rise from preexisting polyps in the colon and that's why screening for colorectal cancer is important as a preventive strategy. Male Speaker: When polyps are found they can be removed and tested. Not all polyps are cancerous but when cancer is present the grows are then called tumors. The severity of the disease can be broken down into four stages. Dr. Alan Venook: Stage four colon cancer is not a death sentence although it's going to require good deal of treatment and some exceptional results. Male Speaker: Brian surgery went well and later doctors were able to remove tumors from his liver. He also underwent chemotherapy the general term for any treatment involving the use of chemical agents to stop cancer cells from growing. Dr. Leonard Saltz: Chemotherapy is a terrifying word, we all understand that and there are always going to be some people that have bad reactions to drugs and bad side effects and bad experiences. We also have many people that handle chemotherapy quite well. Male Speaker: As with any medication, patients taking specific therapies should discuss the possible side effects with their doctors. In Brian's case, the combinations of power medication hard work positive attitude all helped to get him through his treatment. Dr. Alan Venook: I tell him now we have to worry about heart disease and other things, I know part of done all that work and have him dive some preventable problem. Brian McCauley: I'm looking forward to my first backpack trip was with my son Connor and our daughters doing some camping, going sailing again with them, but I'm looking forward to all of that certain stuff. Male Speaker: Brian is definitely watching out for his general health and thanks to recent advances. It looks like he and other patients will get the chance to make many more memories with family and friends.