Colorectal cancer patient near remission, makes spreading the word about prevention her mission
SPOKANE, Wash. — March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The cancers that affect 140,000 Americans a year have little symptoms, but with routine screenings can be prevented and cured if caught in an early stage.
Multicare Rockwood Clinic patient Jamye Reynolds has suffered from the disease. Her story is one of hope but also caution.
“I’m just lucky that my cancer responded to the treatments,” explained Reynolds.
Last year, Jamye says she was blown away learning she had stage 4 colorectal cancer that had spread to her lungs.
“The only symptom that I had been feeling tired for about 8 or 9 months,” she explained.
It was a rectal bleed that eventually sent her to the emergency room and that’s where her world was forever changed. She left her job and began chemo treatments, radiation and surgeries.
“I had what they call a total clinical response and I am just really, really fortunate because not everybody does that even though they do all of the treatments,” she said.
Now, working towards remission, Jamye has made it her mission to make sure others get screened. With no family history, she waited to get the colonoscopy at the recommended age of fifty. Her first was in the ER at 53.
“This cancer it’s very sneaky, it doesn’t have a lot of symptoms,” she said.
Her doctor that she credits with saving her life says colonoscopies not only screen for the cancer, but help prevent it.
Multicare Rockwood Clinic oncologist Dr. Corliss Newman explained, “you look and see if you have a tumor or not. And also, you look to see if there are polyps or not. Polyps, we believe in most cases, develop in to colon cancer, and during a colonoscopy, if they see polyps they remove them. “
Both Dr. Newman and Jamye want people who are fighting to know that this diagnosis isn’t what it used to be.
“We’ve had great changes in how we treat colon cancer, our surgery techniques are better,” explained Dr. Newman.
“Obviously not everyone survives this but there are starting to be more and more people that survive this,” added Reynolds.
Right now, Jamye has one more surgery coming up in May.
She says there is no visible cancer in her body at this point, but she will do more chemotherapy after that surgery to be sure it is all gone. She then hopes she can return to work.
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