"I Had No Idea What Colon Cancer Was." Mother Of 5 Daughters Shares Her Early Symptoms Of The Disease To Help Other People
Not all superheroes wear capes. Some of them are indeed just regular people who are doing something good in pursuit of a greater goal – helping others. Candace Henley is one of such wonderful people. She survived colon cancer and now tries to raise awareness about this deadly disease by sharing her own story and experience.
What is colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer that starts in your large intestine (colon), which is basically the final part of your digestive tract. It often starts as small benign growths called adenomatous polyps, which can later transform into malignant. Therefore, doctors advise to undergo regular screenings to find and remove potentially cancerous polyps. Symptoms of colon cancer can be easily dismissed or misdiagnosed:
- any change in bowel habits (diarrhea, constipation, etc.) that lasts for more than four weeks may indicate colon cancer;
- blood in stool or rectal bleeding;
- persistent cramps, gas, or pain in the abdomen;
- chronic fatigue;
- sudden, unexplained weight loss;
- feeling of incomplete bowel emptying (tenesmus).
Candace Henley’s story
Candace Henley was only 36 years old when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. Back at that time, the mother of five daughters had no idea what colon cancer is. She recalls experiencing only one worrying symptom for the whole six months before being diagnosed with cancer. The woman, who is now 49-years-old cancer-free, was experiencing constipation, which she couldn’t resolve despite trying many different treatments.
I am what a Colorectal Cancer Survivor looks like. It's been a rough road, but if I can save someone else's life along the way...it was all worth it. #bluehats4colons #NationalCancerSurvivorsDay pic.twitter.com/5wHhDFGXmA— Candace Henley (@colon_survivor) June 3, 2018
Unfortunately, Candace Henley was misdiagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer and even underwent surgeries to remove the tumors. However, after doctors did blood tests, they found out it was stage IIB colon cancer. The later symptoms Candace was experiencing included rectal bleeding and blood in her stool. The woman underwent surgery, in which doctors removed 95 percent of her colon.
Candace Henley is doing amazing things with #colorectalcancer awareness, prevention, and screening in the minority community. We love supporting the work she does with @BlueHats4colons #preventionthroughpartnership #ASCO18 @colon_survivor @EKPPRMPLS @TheSarahDeBord pic.twitter.com/2erJZPwPI2— ColonCancerCoalition (@GYRIG) June 6, 2018
Candace Henley won the toughest battle of her life and now wants to help other people. The woman started a campaign called Blue Hat Bow Tie Sunday to help raise awareness about colon cancer. She also stresses the importance of regular screening tests to prevent cancer or detect it early on and have high chances of defeating the disease.
This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.