Knightsville woman cancer free, hopes more will get screened for colon cancer

Knightsville woman cancer free, hopes more will get screened for colon cancer.jpg

Lowcountry doctors are urging people to get screen for colon cancer as they are seeing new trends in the disease.

New numbers show colorectal cancer rates are up among younger people, and doctors are not quite sure why yet. But a Knightsville woman knows firsthand that even young adults can experience the precursors of cancer.

Kathy Mosier is now cancer free after having surgery to remove a cancerous polyp in her colon.

Mosier was diagnosed with stage one colon cancer in March of 2016. The diagnosis came after she went to her doctor complaining of stomach pain, cramps, and rectal bleeding.

She had a colonoscopy and the diagnosis was confirmed.

“With 10 days I was notified I had cancer,” she said. “It took a little breath away but I thought I can deal with this. If anybody can do it, I can.”

She was lucky. Mosier had one surgery to remove the cancerous polyp. After eight weeks of recovery, she was back at work. There was no chemotherapy or radiation. She attributes that to listening to her body.

“If you listen to your body and you know deep down something isn’t right just go do it because I’m a survivor,” she said of her decision to go get checked.

It wasn’t the first time the 46-year-old had a colonoscopy. She had one nearly two decades ago when she was 18 after complaints of gastrointestinal issues.

“Back then oh god I was a little scared, but I went and ended up doing a colonoscopy,” she said.

She begs people young and old to get checked, especially if they have any symptoms like stomach pain, unexplained weight gain or loss, bloody stool, or changes in bowel habits.

“Sometimes I think adults are a little more stubborn than the younger generation,” she added. “For me being 46 with one son and a husband of 21 years, just do it.”

Dr. Anthony Firilas said doctors are seeing a rise in the number of young patients with colorectal cancers, but they aren’t sure exactly why the number has risen.

“It might have to do with better screening, more awareness of symptoms or lifestyle in that age group,” he said. “We're not really sure but it's definitely a trend in that age group.”

However, he wants people to know that early screening is key and leads to a good prognosis.

“If you get it and have polyps that are precancerous and removed you won’t get cancer, and if it's caught early it’s excellent,” he explained. “We’ve seen a trend down in colorectal cancer and we really attribute that to screening.”

“I was lucky,” said Mosier. “If I had let it go six months, I could've been stage 3 or stage 4. I don't know, but it's good that I got checked out. You have to listen to your body, and you have to get the colonoscopy.”

March is colon cancer awareness month, and Roper St. Francis is offering free screenings.

Registration is required to receive a screening. To register, call (843) 402-CARE.

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