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Meet the One Million Strong – Natia Porter from New York

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Be a part of One Million Strong and tell us how colorectal cancer has impacted your life! Share your story now! 

MEET NATIA12678312555_d84269054b

Natia Porter, Family

New York, NY

NATIA’S STORY

Lynch syndrome or (wrongly called) non-polyposis colorectal cancer runs in genes from my mother’s side. It is wrongly called because it predisposes us up to 8 different types of cancers on a different degree. The first, the almost 99% predisposition is to colon caners, then uterus cancer, renal cancer, ovarian, brain and so on.  In my family, as I later discovered, there has been many colon cancers, many uterus cancers, some renal and one-brain cancer cases. However, I did not know about it as a genetic disorder until 2011, Though I always suspected that there was something wrong with so many maternal relatives dying with cancer, but because of it’s variance in types of cancers it was hard to classify as a genetic disorder.  My relatives sometimes blamed it to the bad soil; dirty water or sometimes they did not even reveal at all and disguised it under the pneumonia.  In fact, depending where the cancer is, it really resembles pneumonia in its superficial symptoms: intense cough and low fevers, unless one goes through the imaging, only to be  shocked that she or he has a stage IV cancer and will die in a month. And this was the story of my sister, who slipped away from us in exactly two months; no symptoms not blood in the stool, no pain, just low fevers, weakness and weight loss, and that was a colon cancer progressed in her liver. And, perhaps that was the story of my mother, grandmother, relative and many thousands affected by Lynch Syndrome.  It is important to find a cure for Lynch Syndrome and other genetic cancers, and it is everyone’s duty to support it, because, it can enter anyone’s family  through external relations, friendship, marriage and so on and when that happens, it turns one’s  life upside down; it is an unbearable pain being helpless before your loved one. And, it is not ok to accept it or get used to it. I read articles about the progress in cancer cure and I wonder how so? When 99% of general physicians, gastroenterologists and gynecologists do not know and cannot advise about genetic cancers to their patients. If someone had told me or given me a slightest hint, my sister would’ve been most likely alive today, may be without colon, but alive.

NATIA’S ADVICE

Higher and better education, public involvement  and awareness.

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