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Eric Sherman

Patients & Survivors Stage I Colon Cancer Maryland
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Story: "I was diagnosed with an anal fissure 9 years ago and recently started having similar symptoms. Since I was 47, my G.I. doctor didn’t seem too concerned and asked if I thought I wanted to have a colonoscopy.

"Dealing with the symptoms off and on for several months, I was concerned and pushed to have the procedure as a baseline and to identify the issue and possibly get it fixed during the exam.

"After my colonoscopy, I was waiting in the patient recovery room. I was expecting the doctor to find another fissure, or maybe a hemorrhoid. I was in complete shock when the doctor informed me that he discovered a tumor in my upper rectum and that he was 95% sure it was malignant.

"I couldn’t even think at that moment, everything just seemed to stop, and I was numb.

"This can’t be right, there must be some mistake, this can’t be happening to me were some of the thoughts that I had after hearing the doctor tell me about the tumor. I have no family history, and I’m under 50.

"I was referred to a colorectal surgeon, and after CT and MRI testing, it was determined that my tumor was a stage 1B Adenocarcinoma and that it had not spread to any other organs. During my surgery, my surgeon removed about a foot of my colon and the upper half of my rectum, and post-surgery testing found no spread of cancer in any of the 22 lymph nodes removed.

"It was recommended that I follow up with an oncologist, and he determined that there was no need for chemo or radiation therapy. I consider myself very fortunate in that I caught my cancer so early, and that I pushed my doctor to have myself tested."

Advice: "You know your body best. If something has changed in your eating, sleeping, or bathroom routine, don't hesitate, get it checked out."

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