March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. Watch this ASL video of Lillian sharing her story, explaining how a colonoscopy works, and telling us why it is so important to get one.
Video image description: A Deaf woman of color with light skin, signing in ASL (transcript below). She has warm brown eyes, dimples, curly brown shoulder-length hair, rectangle-shaped brown glasses, and is wearing a black top over a white top. She is sitting in an office with shelves filled with boxes, a plant, and a blue wall behind her.
Lillian: My name is Lillian and I am from Connecticut. I am here to talk about colon cancer because March is Colon Cancer Awareness month. It is represented by the color blue in items such as ribbons or clothing. Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer. Many, many people die from this terrible disease. I have had stage 4 colon cancer for the past two years and am still getting treatments for it.
The goal of Colon Cancer Awareness Month is to promote awareness about colonoscopies. If you are 50 years old or have a family history of colon cancer, get a colonoscopy. If you are 51, 52 or 53, go now for a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy involves inserting a tiny camera into your large intestine through your anus. The doctor will remove any small pre-cancerous polyps that may be growing on the lining of your large intestine. If the polyps are not removed, they can grow larger and become cancerous.
This is what happened to me. I was 50 and did not think it was important to go for a colonoscopy. I waited for one year. I was experiencing stomach pain, losing weight, feeling weak and sick. Then I found out that a baseball-sized tumor had been growing in my large intestine during that year.
I strongly encourage you to get your colonoscopy done NOW if you are 50, 51, 52 or 53 years old. If you have a family history of colon cancer, get a colonoscopy when you are 40. A colonoscopy removes all polyps that can turn into cancer. That is the best gift.
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