My 32-year-old sister has colon cancer. It was discovered at a very late stage, and the cancer had spread throughout her body. It hit her ovaries, her liver, and was in her blood. It wasn’t discovered until the main tumor, the largest one in her colon, had caused her colon to rupture.
This was in late September or early October. I can’t pinpoint it exactly in my memory, but she had surgery on my second day at PR Newswire. That I remember most. I held my cellphone all day waiting for a phone call, and it came after I had gotten home. I’m pretty sure my battery was drained just because I kept looking at the darn thing all day.
Fastforward to March. My sister is responding well to treatment–better than I think anybody expected. Some of her remaining tumors have shrunk by half, and bloodwork showed no signs of cancer in her blood. It’s a miracle. Or, at the very least, just something to be thankful for.
Meanwhile, that phone call in October delivered some different news for me. My sister’s doctor told me that her cancer can be genetic. I need to get tested.
The obvious test, to be candid, is a colonoscopy. This I know, and am ready to do. But the doctor told me that my brother and I should get a genetic test to find out if we have the possibility of getting the same kind of cancer.
(Humorous side note: Please watch this awesome video. http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-colon-cancer-screening-day-targets-first-time-patients-141094453.html)
So. Do I do it? If I’m likely to get cancer, is it better to know?
Of course it’s better to know. If I’m likely to get cancer, I can have regularly screenings to make sure any cancer is detected at the earliest moment.
But would you want to know?
- Family History Key In Watching For Colon Cancer (washington.cbslocal.com)