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Mark Moore

Patients & Survivors Stage I Colon Cancer North Carolina
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Mark's Story

Year 2020 came in with a bang. It was the year I turned 50; the year of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the year I was diagnosed with colon cancer. It all started in 2019 when I had a primary care visit with my doctor. He did some bloodwork and asked me if I have any family history of colon cancer. I said, “No, but why do you ask?” He said that the bloodwork indicated that I may have colon cancer. So I was scheduled for a colonoscopy in 2020. Because of the pandemic, it made it difficult to get in for a colonoscopy, so I did not receive one until May 2020. 

The doctors found two polyps during the colonoscopy. To me, one looked like it was enlarged, but I thought that was “normal.” The next week I got a call that I will never forget. The doctor told me that one of the polyps that they had removed was cancerous. They felt that they had removed everything but wanted to be sure. 

I decided to have another surgery for the doctor to take another look to be sure that they got everything. I was less concerned about the surgery at the time and more concerned about contracting COVID. I had a really great doctor for the surgery who really helped me understand my options and communicated with me very well on what would happen during the surgery. 

I never stressed or worried about my diagnosis until after my surgery when they told me I was cancer free and my diagnosis was only stage I. The nurse practitioner and I were having a conversation afterward, and she said, “Mr. Moore you are blessed: What made you decide to get screened?” I told her after I turned 50 I knew it was time to get screened. She said, “You know, Mr. Moore, we see people come in here half your age and are already at stage IV.” That made me think how blessed I was to have gotten screened and caught my disease early on. 

Mark's Advice

Until I had all the details about my diagnosis and what the outcome would be, I kept a close circle of people that knew about it. It can sometimes put more stress on you when you have a lot of people worried about you and asking you questions before you have the answers yourself. 

Also, something I tell people a lot, especially men: ”When you start to see changes in your body and in your bowel habits, it’s time to go get it checked out.

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