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Elsa Lankford

Cuidador Cáncer de colon en estadio IV Maryland
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I am caregiver to my wife who was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer at age 49. The recommended screening age had just been lowered from 50 to 45 only two months before her diagnosis.

We already thought it was cancer, but the colonoscopy confirmed it. I was with her when we found out. She was on the gurney after the colonoscopy.

My wife's only symptom was anemia.

Her treatments consisted of chemotherapy, targeted therapy/immunotherapy, surgery, and radiation. Her side effects are skin rashes and increased anxiety.

She has biomarker testing done, and she is currently in a clinical trial, an inmunoterapia trial (NCT05572684). This trial involves NC410 and pembro, and she began this trial on January 8.

My advice to someone who is afraid to seek medical advice or colorectal cancer screening is this: The only way to know that you do or do not have colorectal cancer is to check. Colorectal cancer is one of the few cancers where, it might be able to be caught before it's cancer, and then it can be prevented.

For stage IV patients and care partners, the stats can be scary. I'm keeping up hope that the stats and options for CRC stage IV are increasing. Getting your loved one to a procedure with curative intent can change the stats.

Por favor second or third opinions if possible.

Something I wish all members of Congress knew is that CRC is a scary disease. The stats for stage IV are 14% for five-year survival. There aren't too many other cancers that have such horrible statistics. CRC patients need hope, options, and better stats. They need to have the same kind of medical care and options as patients with other cancers, like breast or lung.

I have known too many young (20s-40s) people who have died from this disease in the past 2.5 years. Funding for more research and researchers needs to be increased, so that there can be more options with less toxicity, where we can think about years and not weeks or months as an exciting trial survival outcome.

I have started a stage IV care partner podcast. It's on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube. I am hoping it's helpful for patients and care partners but also for people to understand what stage IV cancer land is like.

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