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“The screening saved my life.”

“The screening saved my life.”

August 08, 2018

While colon cancer normally occurs in people over the age of 50 that was not the case for a young Burnaby mother who underwent a colonoscopy and happily, has now fully recovered from colon cancer.

Colon cancer is the second deadliest cancer in BC, and age is the biggest risk factor. Over 94% of new cases diagnosed each year are in men and women over the age of 50. However, colon cancer also can occur in younger people like 26-year-old Burnaby resident and new mom, Charlene:

“No one thought it was going to be cancer.

I was only 26 years old, and colon cancer is almost always diagnosed in people over 50. But I guess it really can happen to anyone.

It was terrifying, but I took it in stride and tried to laugh about it. It was important to me to keep a sense of humor about the whole thing.

My physician, Dr. Dickeson, was incredible and because we caught it early, it was treatable.

Nearly half of colorectal patients aren’t as lucky. The screening saved my life.

Four years on, I’m healthy and cancer free. And despite the chemo, earlier this year my husband and I welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world.

All I want is for others in my situation to have the same chance I had.”

— Charlene
Burnaby Resident and Proud Mom

New research indicates a staggering 49% of colorectal cancers are diagnosed when they are Stage 3 or Stage 4. Unfortunately, this is when they are mostly untreatable.

Early detection through colon screening is key to diagnosing colorectal cancers while they are still treatable. In fact, an overwhelming 90% of those diagnosed with colorectal cancer at Stage 1 survive and go on to lead healthy, cancer free lives. 

Colon screenings are less invasive than using surgery to make a diagnosis. They are simple, low risk procedures, and they leave no scarring. 

This adds up to savings for the health care system, and more importantly, saved lives.

We want to be sure that when you need us, we can give you the best health care, with the most up-to-date equipment, in the most-timely manner possible.  

We have an urgent need at Burnaby Hospital, and in our community, for four new colonoscopes and a scopepilot to help us keep up with the growing demand for colon screenings, and reduce current wait times. If you would like to help, please donate here.