COVID-19 and Colorectal Cancer Get The Facts

Paul Smeltzer

When I was 49 years old, I conducted the FIT (fecal) test as instructed by my GP during my annual physical. Though I was younger than the recommended age of 50 and did not have a family history of colorectal cancer or any symptoms, my doctor pushed the test so that I got it done. It came back positive and he advised me to have a colonoscopy. During this procedure we found my colon to be littered with polyps, including one cancerous polyp. A few months later and after many tests, I had a full colectomy procedure.

Approximately one week after surgery, I had great news: My surgeon reported to me that the cancer had not spread (Stage 1) and that I would need no further cancer treatments. I did not have much knowledge regarding CRC, and ironically enough, I had eaten oatmeal nearly every morning of my life and had never had any issues down there. It was the last place I thought I would develop a problem.

I’m living proof that everyone should do their routine physicals. You may think that you or a loved one will never be touched by colorectal cancer – but you are wrong. Colorectal cancer is affecting younger and younger people. As the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in Canada, we must raise awareness about this cancer to help others. I was so fortunate that this was detected early and that I didn’t have go through any chemotherapy or radiation.

90% of colorectal cancers are curable when caught early or at a localized stage! Be sure to begin screening at the age recommended by your doctor or screening program based on your risk level. Don’t wait until it is too late!

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