Colon cancer patient: ‘Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence’

Colon cancer patient: ‘Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence’

via Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center:

Marie317.jpg

Marie Cavazos never expected the stomach pain she had been experiencing
was a colon
cancer symptom
.

In April 2010, Marie
started feeling a tightening sensation in her lower abdomen. Each day it grew a
little worse.

“It felt as if I had on a belt that was really tight,” she
says.

Finally, when Marie was so uncomfortable she could no longer
sit, she decided to go to the emergency room. Fearing that the wait would be
long, she told her husband to leave and come back later. She didn’t think it
would be anything serious. A half an hour later she was diagnosed with stage
4 colon cancer
.

Undergoing colon
cancer treatment

Marie’s cancer journey has been full of ups and downs. After
her diagnosis, her doctors in her hometown, Harlingen, Texas, told her there
was nothing they could do for her. So she came to MD Anderson for colon
cancer treatment
.

Marie underwent five surgeries to remove the cancer. Each
time it returned. Her doctors recommended radiation treatment, but Marie
delayed the treatment to continue working at her job a few more weeks. During
that time the cancer continued to spread, and doctors told her they could no
longer use radiation treatment.

Now Marie is relying on an oral chemotherapy
treatment and responding well, but her next line of defense is a clinical
trial
.

Giving hope to others
with colon cancer


Through it all, Marie has remained positive.

“The way I see it is cancer doesn’t have to be a death
sentence,” she says.

When Marie was initially diagnosed, her doctors told her she
had four to six months to live. That was four years ago.

She attributes this to the support she’s received from her friends
and family along with her medical team, led by Cathy Eng, M.D.,
associate professor of gastrointestinal medical oncology.

Now Marie wants to offer that same support to other
patients. She will be honored with the Courageous Spirit Award at the 9th
annual S.C.O.P.E.
Run
at MD Anderson on Saturday, March 22, 2014. The race promotes colon cancer screening and
honors all people diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Register online for the 2014 S.C.O.P.E. Run at MD Anderson on Saturday, March 22. For
more information, email scope@mdanderson.org.

For more info: Colon cancer patient: ‘Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence’

Cancerwise | Cancer blog from MD Anderson Cancer Center

Colon cancer patient: ‘Cancer doesn’t have to be a death sentence’

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