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Early Detection Saves Lives: One woman’s story about colon cancer survival

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Colon cancer remains the second leading cancer killer among men and women in the United States.  A Caledonia woman learned first hand what doctors have been telling us for years, early detection saves lives.
 
Barbara Orologio, 64, underwent her first colonoscopy in their 50’s.  Just a few years later than when doctors first recommend we all get our initial screening.  they discovered Barbara had polyps.  She had them removed with no problems.
 
“It was recommended that I go in in 5 years to have a second colonoscopy.  It was seven before I got there.  So, again, I had no symptoms.  So, there was no big rush, other than the doctor saying you need to do this,” said Barbara Orologio, Caledonia.
 
What doctors discovered during Barbara’s second colonoscopy was stage three cancer.
 
“I went numb, to be honest with you. It took me a good two weeks to really have it sink in that I had cancer.  Yes.  And then it was just, taking care of it.  I just, let’s have a plan, let’s do this, take care of it,” SAID Orologio.
 
Doctors at the University of Rochester Medical Center were just as taken back as Barbara.
 
“It was a relatively small-sized mass but it’s still at the stage three because it had already spread to her lymph nodes.  Which is so surprising.  You know with absolutely no symptoms,” said Dr. Shivangi Kothari, URMC Associate Director of Endoscopy.
 
If you haven’t been screened for colon cancer or had  colonoscopy doctors encourage us to do so by the age of 50.
 
“Colon cancer can actually be prevented by undergoing appropriate screening.  And if patients undergo a colonoscopy, we can actually take out a polyp before it turns into cancer,” said Dr. Danielle Marino, URMC Assistant Professor of Medicine.
 
Barbara’s cancer was surgically removed in September.
 
“Oh my goodness.  A weight lifted from my shoulders,” said Barbara.
 
 She underwent three months of chemotherapy and is now ready to continue traveling and enjoying her four children and grandchildren.
 
The University of Rochester Medical Center is sponsoring a “Strollin’ for the Colon” fundraising event.  It takes place Saturday, May 7, at 10 a.m. at the Village Park on Main St. in Geneseo. 
 
 

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