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A Colonoscopy Saved My Life, and it Could Save Yours, Too

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  • Written By: PVHMC - Admin
A Colonoscopy Saved My Life, and it Could Save Yours, Too

Colorectal cancer screenings save lives. In fact, nearly 60 percent of colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented with a screening, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Lorraine Missick, resident of La Verne, and 17-year Volunteer at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center, couldn't agree more. A screening saved her life, too.

Years ago, at 68 years old, both her primary care physician, Dr. Duane Styles, and her husband would encourage her at each checkup to get a screening. Lorraine would disregard the advice each time; she felt that "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

It wasn't until one afternoon when she experienced a little bleeding, that she decided to finally take her doctor's advice. During her colonoscopy, performed by Dr. Dwaraknath P. Reddy, Lorraine was told that a potentially malignant polyp had been found. A polyp is a noncancerous growth that develops on the inner lining of the colon or rectum and can grow for up to 10-20 years.* As polyps continue to grow, their chances of becoming cancerous also grow - nearly all cases of colorectal cancer begin with the development of polyps.

As a precaution, Dr. Reddy determined that a biopsy would need to be done to remove the polyp.

A few months later, Lorraine had her biopsy. It was at this time she was told that the polyp was indeed cancerous. However, additional testing found that since she was in the early stages of cancer, and all of the cancer had been contained in the removed polyp, she was now cancer-free!

Lorraine says she feels so fortunate that she didn't have to go through additional treatment for her cancer, such as chemotherapy or radiation, and credits her colorectal screening with saving her life. She is now an advocate for constant and early screenings.

"It's a gift you owe to yourself, it's peace of mind," says Lorraine. "Even if this type of cancer doesn't run in your family, just do it. When it comes to colorectal screenings, I think people have a fear of the unknown, but it's really, really not that bad. There's little preparation needed...and then at the hospital, one moment you're falling asleep and the next moment it's all over."

Lorraine, now 77-years-old, says she goes in for a colorectal cancer screening every 2-3 years, and has been cancer-free for nine years.

Have you scheduled your screening yet?

*Sources: National Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Center for Disease Control & Prevention