“I scheduled an appointment and it was a good thing I did because they did find a tumor and they had to remove 18 inches of colon,"said Vanessa Dering.
2007 is a year Vanessa Dering will never forget, like most people she put off her colonoscopy until one day she had a nagging feeling to get checked out – which saved her life. She was diagnosed with a rare form of colon cancer, something that would change her life forever.
"It was scary and I do think about it but I don't worry about it everyday,” said Dering.
Doctor Richard Saltz is a GI specialist at Texoma Regional Medical Center.
He's practiced all over the country -- but he says he is seeing more and more colon cancer cases in the Texoma region.
"Of all the people we see after the age of 50, 1 out of 100 will actually have a cancer and they would never have known it,"said Dr. Richard Saltz.
There are usually no symptoms of colon cancer and many people diagnosed have not had a family history of the disease-- that's why doctors say its so important for people to get screened.
"For most people its age 50 in the Caucasian community, in the Black community its an official recommendation at age 45,"said Saltz.
Doctors say the best way to cut your risks for the disease is to eat healthy, exercise and simply take care of your body -- but above all, screening tests should be your number one priority.
"You're really hurting yourself and your family by not seeing about it and many people say I don't want to know, but you need to know because it will very well save your life,"said Dering.