This is personal.
Rose knows about colon cancer. She is one of the
rare survivors. As recommended, Rose did her first
colonoscopy at age 50. Rose says, The doctor
found polyps and removed them. He recommended I
return in five years. But I didnt like the
drink (a bowel-clearing solution thats part
of colonoscopy prep), so I didnt return. Ten
years later something was protruding from my naval.
My polyps had grown back, multiplied, and I had
stage IV colon cancer with a prognosis of six months
to a year to live. It had metastasized to my liver,
lungs and ovaries. I was not a candidate for surgery.
I was terminal. Hearing you have cancer is the worst
thing in the world. I needed to make a will. I needed
to tell my neighbor I didnt hate her. My daughter
had passed away, and I was caring for my grandchildren
would become of them? Let my heartbreak be your
after seven years, many treatments and two recurrences,
Rose beat her unimaginable odds. I was lucky
I wish that battle on no one. Chemotherapy is terrible.
I thought of throwing in the towel many times. But
the alternative was death. All because I didnt
want the dreaded drink. I want my story of skipping
a colonoscopy to scare you to death.
with the dismal colon cancer prognosis and the high
success rate of early screening, about 60% of our
population is skipping recommended colonoscopies.
Dr. Charafeddine says, Like Rose, many people
dont like the drink. But theyre getting
better, and today we have many options. Others are
afraid of being put to sleep or the very minor risks
involved. As Rose attests, none of these compare
to hearing, You have colon cancer. A
normal procedure takes 30 minutes. If we find precancerous
polyps, we remove them immediately. Afterward youre
able to eat lunch and get on with your day.
majority of health insurance policies pay colonoscopies
at 100%. For the uninsured and underinsured, Dr.
Charafeddine and the Rose B. Johnson Foundation
are here to help. Candidates receive an initial
office visit with Dr. Charafeddine, the drink,
the colonoscopy, and any required follow-up and
labs. Rose has accompanied her patients to every
colonoscopy performed through her foundation. Rose
says, Its unacceptable for us to lose
our loved ones because of lack of knowledge or a
financial barrier. I met Dr. Charafeddine at a health
fair and what a blessing he has been. He is my partner
in saving lives. I dont know if I could find
another doctor that would do what Dr. Charafeddine
excuses. Get the movement going.