Soccer dad message: Be an Advocate
Colon cancer survivor and American Cancer Society volunteer Paul Barden talks about his diagnosis and recovery
Fairport, NY – (March 1, 2013) When Fairport attorney and soccer dad, Paul Barden, was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer two years ago, he wondered if he would live to see his teenage daughters graduate from high school or celebrate his 25th wedding anniversary.
When symptoms first appeared, he tried toughing it out; not going to the doctor, but rather wish them away. When that didn’t work, he finally made an appointment with a doctor, who recommended dietary changes. But something still wasn’t right, so he made an appointment with a gastroenterologist who performed a colonoscopy and ultimately diagnosed the cancer.
Today, with no evidence of the disease, Paul tells everyone he can to get screened and be an advocate for your health. “You know your body better than anyone. If you have something going on that is out of the ordinary or just doesn’t feel right, go to the doctor and demand an evaluation. If not satisfied, keep pushing. To do otherwise can really be the difference between life and death.”
Colorectal cancer is highly treatable if found in its early stages, and half of all colon cancer deaths in the United States could be prevented if everyone followed recommended screening guidelines. Most people should start getting screened for colorectal cancer at age 50, but people with a family history are at higher risk and may need to be screened earlier.
“We’re making progress, but as long as people are dying from colon cancer, there’s room for improvement,” said Matthew Flanigan, American Cancer Society Regional Vice President. “We know colon cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented through screening, and if not prevented, detecting colon cancer early greatly increases survival rates.”
Colon cancer survivors like Paul are helping to spread the word and save lives by sharing their story. In Paul’s case, at the American Cancer Society Relay For Life in Fairport, NY. “If you are 50 or older, get screened for colon cancer. If you notice something wrong with your body, get it checked out. Don’t be a ‘tough guy’.”
Video: Paul Barden speaks at the Relay For Life
Free colon cancer testing for uninsured men and women in New York
Free colon cancer testing for uninsured men and women in New Jersey
American Cancer Society guide to colon cancer
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing more than $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.