In case you missed today’s earlier post on Instagram, please read this story first where I chatted with journalist Korin Miller at Yahoo! News to honor World Cancer Day by sharing my own personal battle with colorectal cancer that I fought last year.
Today on World Cancer Day, I’m honored to be among an inspirational group of warriors and survivors.
I am a warrior
I will thrive
I am an advocate
I will advise
This past spring, I was diagnosed with Stage III colon cancer after going for a routine colonoscopy at age 50. A cancer diagnosis is always world-shattering, but mine was particularly shocking because I’d always kept the lifestyle risks at bay through regular exercise, holistic practices, healthy plant-based food, and clean habits.
Throughout the challenging process, I only shared the news with a small handful of family and friends who stood by me with unwavering support, and now I’m ready to share my story with you. After weighing my treatment options, I sought-out an all-female team at Sloan Kettering, and after multiple rounds of chemo followed by surgery in late December, I’m now cancer free!
In the aftermath of my treatment, I’m devoted to raising awareness and education of colorectal cancer in all aspects of the disease, from prevention to treatment to aftercare, and to promote foundations that are actively supporting cures.
Part of my advocacy is to stress early screening, recommended by the American Cancer Society to begin at age 45, recently down from age 50, due to an uptick in rates.
Excluding skin cancers, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosed in men and women in the United States. For 2019, it’s estimated that a total of ~145k new colorectal cancer cases will be diagnosed in the United States.
Part of spreading awareness is promoting World Cancer Day, which was founded as an initiative of the Union for International Cancer Control in 2000 to raise global awareness about cancer research, prevention, education, legislation, treatment, and support for all who suffer from the disease, regardless of income, location, ethnicity, or gender.
WCD takes place every February 4th, worldwide, which serves as a timely reminder to unite against cancer, to find a cure, and to rally support from individuals, organizations, corporations, schools, cities, governments, hospitals, and communities.
The initiative’s 2019 slogan, “I Am and I Will,” is a promise to oneself to take action now and build towards a future cure. Education, knowing the risks, and early screening is key to a curable disease.