TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) — Colon cancer rates have fallen 30 percent in the past decade, due in large part to an increase in the number of people getting colonoscopies.
March is colon cancer awareness month and tonight in part two of his special series, WCBI’s Allie Martin shows us how one local doctor is battling the disease and how a free kit can help the public check for warning signs.
Not long after he was diagnosed with colon cancer three years ago, Dr Sam Pace began to make some radical changes in his life. He began to exercise regularly.
“It is critically important in treatment of people who have colon cancer and tolerating chemo, it’s also very important for individuals who don’t want to get colon cancer. Exercise is an important thing,” Dr. Pace said.
For more than 3 decades, Dr. Pace worked as a gasteroenterologist, helping patients prevent, and fight colon cancer. His cancer was discovered when he had a colonoscopy at age 60. He underwent surgery, which removed the cancer, but a follow up procedure last summer discovered a few spots in his lung.Now, he’s undergoing chemotherapy every two weeks, and along with a strenuous exercise program, there have been other lifestyle changes.
“Obviously spending more time with family, which is very important because as a physician, a lot of your time is limited, we always talk about make the main thing the main thing, but family, your faith and all of those things that help you so much are important and statistics have shown that someone who does get colon cancer, they do better if they have a great support team, family and spouse is one of those,” he said.
Another big factor in the fight against cancer is attitude, and Doctor Pace says he will let no disease control his attitudes or thoughts.
“The ‘C’ word is one thing as a physician, that patients, if they come in to see you, they are so afraid if they have a symptom, that you are going to find cancer so when you do have it, you talk about knocking the wind out of your sails, it does. But don’t let cancer beat you, cancer can’t invade your soul, spirit, can’t stop your mind from having positive thoughts, it can do other things to you but you are in control of other things that will now allow it to get you down,” Dr. Pace said.
And remember, you can get free, self test kits at Fred’s Pharmacies. Tomorrow night in part three of his series, Allie will have another key factor in the prevention of colon cancer, plus he will also show us the latest advances in detection of the disease.