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HEALTHY LIVING SPECIAL EDITION

Survivors’

stories

American Cancer Society

RELAY FOR LIFE 20th anniversary


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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

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HEALTHY LIVING SPECIAL EDITION

Editor’s Note Everyone has a friend, a loved one, a co-worker whose life has been touched by cancer. We all know survivors, the lucky ones. And we all know those who have died. Every day in Alabama, 64 people will be told they have cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. Here in Calhoun County, the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life is one of the biggest fundraisers of the year. On Friday, hundreds of fundraising teams, cancer survivors, friends and family will gather at the McClellan Soccer Complex in Anniston for the 20th annual Relay for Life. The Anniston Star is honoring the event with this special edition of “Healthy Living,” devoted to the stories of our neighbors who have survived cancer. The Star is a media sponsor of Relay for Life. The newspaper has long had a Relay for Life team, and in addition is donating a portion of the proceeds from this section to the American Cancer Society. We would like to thank the survivors who shared their stories. We would like to thank our advertisers for their contribution. And we would like to thank you, our readers, for joining us in honoring our neighbors whose lives have been touched by cancer, and in supporting the search for a cure for this horrible disease. Lisa Davis Editor, “Healthy Living” ON THE COVER: Pam Torruella of Jacksonville has been in remission from breast cancer for 12 years. Photograph by Bill Wilson.

G N I V I L Y H T HEAL ECIAL EDITION SP

S’

SURVIVOR

STORIES American

ciety

Cancer So

LIFE RELAY FOR ary ers

20th anniv

Healthy Living is a product of The Anniston Star

EDITOR Lisa Davis Features Editor, Anniston Star 256-235-3555 ldavis@annistonstar.com

• WRITER Brett Buckner

• PHOTOGRAPHERS Stephen Gross Trent Penny Bill Wilson

• DESIGNERS Bran Strickland AnnaMaria Jacob

• TO ADVERTISE IN HEALTHY LIVING Janet Miller 256-235-9225 jmiller@annistonstar.com Copyright 2012 Consolidated Publishing Company


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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

Table of Contents 5 7 10 12 15 16 18

One step at a time

20 years of Relay for Life

RELAY FOR LIFE | Survivors’ dinner 2012

Scenes from the annual Relay for Life survivors’ dinner April 12 at the Anniston Meeting Center

Survivors’ stories

‘I found my strength from others’ Pam Torruella, Jacksonville

‘He was never sick before this’ Jakob Miellmier, Ohatchee

‘But then it comes back’

Margaret Roberts, Anniston

‘We’re people who don’t give up’ Johnny Avery, Anniston

Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star

Chuck Torruella opens the 2012 Relay for Life kickoff dinner at the Anniston City Meeting Center.

‘Don’t let the cancer win’ April Turnbow, Wellborn

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Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File

Relay for Life will embark on its 20th year this year. Most recently the event for Calhoun County has been moved to McClellan, shown here in 2009.

step One

at a

time

For 20 years, Relay for Life has been raising money for the American Cancer Society

By Brett Buckner Special to The Star

What Lisa Morales remembers most from the first Calhoun County Relay for Life event 20 years ago is playing volleyball with strangers at 2 a.m. “We all had a vested interest in fighting cancer,” said Morales, who is now director of distinguished events for the American Cancer Society, Mid-South Division. That first year, Morales estimates Relay for Life raised between $10,000 and $15,000, and had maybe 10 teams taking part in the all-night event. Morales’ grandfather, whom she remembers as a “fun-loving man,” died from cancer when she was 15 years old.

“I knew he wouldn’t want me sitting around and moping about not having him around,” she said. “He’d want me to rejoice in his life, and that’s what I found in Relay — the chance to make a difference in the lives of future generations.” That difference is still being made. With its opening ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday at the McClellan Soccer Complex, Calhoun County Relay for Life will celebrate 20 years of raising money, hope and awareness in the battle against cancer in all its destructive forms. There will be 122 teams and 1,220 participants taking part — a far cry from the 10 teams that participated that first night, 20 years ago. Please see relay ❙ Page 6

Relay for Life McClellan Soccer Complex FRIDAY 3 p.m. – Relay for Life begins with live music. 5 p.m. – Survivors birthday party and name recognition. 7 p.m. – Opening ceremony and Survivors First Lap, in which cancer survivors are invited to circle the track together. The event also recognizes caregivers. 9 p.m. – Lighting of the Luminarias, in which candles are lit inside bags filled with sand, each one bearing the name of a person touched by cancer. Participants often walk a lap in silence. SATURDAY 9 a.m. – Relay for Life ends.


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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

relay Continued from Page 5 Nearly $90,000 has already been raised, and this year’s event promises to be more successful than last year’s, explained Amie Hinton, community representative for the American Cancer Society, Mid-South Division. “We’re right on track with where we want to be,” she said. “In fact, we’ve raised more money at this point than we did at this same time last year.” The American Cancer Society estimates that, in Alabama alone, more than 26,000 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed this year. “We need all the help we can get,” Hinton said. “This event is full of energy and excitement and hope. It’s a festival, a celebration of life, but behind it all is the fight against cancer … a fight we plan to win.” qq Johnny Avery, inspired by the loss of two close friends in the late 1990s, was involved with Relay for Life when it first began. “It’s amazing how far it’s come,” said Avery, 68, of Anniston, himself a survivor of prostate cancer. “This is a time of hope. It’s not about sorrow and fear. This is a time to celebrate life — both of the survivors and those who died from cancer. Seeing all those people out

family and patients watched. Some donated $25 to run or walk with Klatt for 30 minutes. He raised $27,000. Over the next few months, he pulled together a small committee to create what became known as the City of Destiny Classic 24-Hour Run Against Cancer. In 1986, with the help of Pat Flynn — now known as the “Mother of Relay” — 19 teams took part in the first team Relay event on the track — Cancer survivor at the historic Stadium Bowl and Johnny Avery raised $33,000. Since then, it’s been estimated that more than $3 billion has been raised by Relay for Life events across the nation. The money goes toward cancer research, education, awareness and patient care As important as the money walking and having a good time … raised, however, is the strength in you know cancer doesn’t stand a numbers that such community chance in Calhoun County.” events give to cancer survivors and The idea for Relay for Life was those in the midst of their own born in the mid-1980s. Dr. Gordy battles. Klatt, a colorectal surgeon in Taco“I’ve seen people find healing ma, Wash., wanted to raise money while walking laps around that for his local American Cancer Socitrack,” Morales said. “They start ety and show support for all of his sharing their stories — some haven’t patients who battled cancer. It just so happened that Klatt enjoyed run- even told their family or friends ning marathons, so he combined his — and they see they’re not alone. It gives them strength. two passions. “There’s a real sense of healing, In May 1985, Klatt spent 24 hours running more than 83 miles around hope and camaraderie there. Ultimately, that’s what it’s all about.” the track at Baker Stadium at the Contact Brett Buckner at brettUniversity of Puget Sound in Tacobuckner@ymail.com ma. Nearly 300 of Klatt’s friends,

“This is a time of hope. It’s not about sorrow and fear.”

Photos by Stephen Gross/The Anniston Star/File

A young survivor sits on his dad’s shoulders at the start of Relay for Life 2009 at McClellan soccer field.


HEALTHY Living: Special Edition MAY 2012

RELAY FOR LIFE | Survivors’ dinner 2012 Scenes from the annual Relay for Life survivors’ dinner, April 12, at the Anniston Meeting Center. Photographs by Stephen Gross.

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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

Diane Wright

In Memory of Mr. Johnny Bynum Sr.

Terrie Kirkland

In Memory of our Mom Sunrise 11/27/43 –– Sunset 5/2/08

You are truly amazing! Your strength has been an inspiration to us all. Keep fighting! Your friends at The Anniston Star.

It has been eight years since God called you home. Forever in our hearts. Missing you and we will always Love you. Wife, Joyce Bynum, Son, Derek Bynum Daughter, Vanessa Howard Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren

Mama We Miss You, To us there is no one like her. She’s a very great woman indeed. She was there for us every step of the way To help supply our daily needs One million pens could never write the love and joy we feel for our mother The warmth she shared with the three of us There’s no one else like Mama. Love Mrs. Terrie Kirkland’s Children, Mike, Lolita & Tammie

Cassie Wine

Patricia Ann Smith

Laying there, 8 years old, passerby’s cried. Crying, it should be me, 42. Finally understanding Torre needed me here. Help cure it. Cassie 4 ever.

September 15, 1954 - May 22, 2011 She gave so much and demanded so little. We Love & Miss You

Educator/Catlyst Roy Webb & Pleasant Valley

VERONIA CHEATWOOD HILL A beloved Wife, Family, Friend, Teacher Taken 16 Sept 2008


HEALTHY Living: Special Edition MAY 2012

Hope Robinson Thank God that you survived! Love, John

“Nita” Carolyn Willimas Sathcer Miss You! Love Always, Hope & family

Fannie Mae Gill Robinson

In Honor of Yolanda “Yogi” Peters

We love and miss you Momma

Your strength amazes me. You are a survivor in every sense of the word.

Deloris, Lee & John

I love you. Momma

In Memory of Margaret Burns You fought a good fight and never gave up. You are the WINNER! We Love & Miss You Gene & family

Maurine Harmon My Mom My Hero Two Time cancer Survivor and Still Going Strong at 96. I Love You! Jerry

Bradey Keaton Munroe

You will always be our hero. There’s not a day that goes by that we don’t think of you. We love and miss you so much. Jeff, Dawn & Brenton

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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012 SURVIVORS’ STORIES | PAM TORRUELLA, 52, JACKSONVILLE

‘I found my strength from others’ By Brett Buckner Special to The Star

Pam Torruella was 40 years old when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I was shocked,” remembered Torruella, now 52 and living in Jacksonville. “There’s no other way to put it. Nothing can really prepare you for that kind of news. And nobody in my family had ever had breast cancer. I was the first.” Rather than keep her diagnosis quiet, she shared it with those she felt deserved to know about the fears she was wrestling with. And it was through the telling that she found strength in numbers. Her family, friends and faith combined to give her the courage she needed to endure both chemotherapy and radiation treatment. “I shared,” Torruella said with proud, thankful laugh. “I figured the more people who know, the more prayers you have out there, the more strength you get to not give up. “I found my strength from others, and hopefully I gave a little bit of that strength back.” Torruella received a lot of support and encouragement from the faculty and staff at Jacksonville State University, where she and her husband, Chuck, work — she in the admissions office and he in the print shop. “It was like a real community, a family,” she said. “There were people who had been through what I was going through, and could tell me what to expect.” Torruella has been in remission from breast cancer for 12 years. She was involved with Calhoun County Relay for Life well before her own personal walk with cancer began. Through Yoshukai Karate, a karate school that she and her husband have run for more than 20 years, Torruella had seen many friends’ lives touched by cancer. She has seen others lose that battle. “We were really one of the earliest teams to join,” she remembered, “back when there weren’t but maybe 10 teams, and we’d walk all night around Oxford Stadium. It’s something that’s been near and dear to our hearts for a long, long time.” Having experienced the fear and shock of her own diagnosis, Torruella’s desire to raise money and awareness has only increased. She knows what it feels like to have that dreaded word — “cancer” — leveled in her direction, and she doesn’t want anyone else to endure what she and so many other survivors have gone through. “There’s definitely strength in numbers,” she said. “I’m living proof of that. And the more people involved with things like Relay for Life, the more money we can raise to find a cure, and eventually we’ll beat cancer.” Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ymail.com

Bill Wilson/The Anniston Star/File

Pam Torruella, who runs Yoshukai Karate with her husband, Chuck, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999. INSET: She led karate classes while undergoing chemotherapy.


HEALTHY Living: Special Edition MAY 2012

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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

SURVIVORS’ STORIES | Jakob Miellmier, 6, Ohatchee

‘He was never sick before this’ Diagnosed with leukemia at age 4 By Brett Buckner

He also must take a battery of medications, including chemo pills, every night, Special to The Star along with antibiotics three nights a week. Jakob Miellmier was always “a very He’s on a monthly steroid regimen that active boy” who loved the outdoors, occasionally makes him according to his grandmother, short-tempered. Sherrie Miellmier. “He was never sick That changed in 2010, when before this,” Sherrie then-4-year-old Jakob became said. “So that was a huge lethargic. He started bruis- adjustment for him and ing easily. He had night sweats. for us. On April 12 of that year, she “We started out having • The American took Jakob and another grandson to crush his medicine up to the park. It wasn’t 30 minutes in ice cream, but pretty Cancer Society this before Jakob was exhausted. soon he quit eating the year funded 406 trips for The next day, he was taken to the ice cream. It really took us patients to get to their hospital, where blood tests revealed over a year, but he’s finally cancer treatments. he had leukemia. learned how to swallow • 16 families from “We told him it was cancer,” Sher- pills.” Calhoun County stayed rie said. “My mother died from lung Growing up, Jakob had for free at the American cancer, so Jakob knew the word. never been around many “We had to tell him, to be honest, Cancer Society’s Hope people, save for his family. because he’s a very smart boy and But with the hospital visits Lodge in Birmingham catches on quick. He knew something and regular trips to Birwhile seeking treatment was wrong.” mingham for treatment, at facilities there, for 368 But Jakob kept the bright outlook of he is learning to be more total nights. That service someone with his entire life ahead of sociable. saved these families an him. “He really didn’t like estimated total of nearly “He never asked if he was going to die,” strangers,” Sherrie said. $42,320 Sherrie said. “He did say he wanted to go “This has taught him how to heaven and see Jesus, but he also said to better deal with people. that when he went, he wanted to come It’s really been a blessing back.” in disguise.” Jakob had reason to be positive. His Now that he’s cancer leukemia was caught in the early stages, free, Jakob has played and 29 days after his first diagnosis, he Upward soccer and basketball — although was cancer-free. he missed his last game because he was in That, however, isn’t really the end of the the hospital with pneumonia. story. “We don’t shield him from much,” SherTo make sure the cancer doesn’t return, rie said. “If he feels up to something, we Jakob will have to maintain monthly radi- usually let him do it.” ation treatments at Children’s Hospital in Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ Birmingham for the next year and a half. ymail.com

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HEALTHY Living: Special Edition MAY 2012

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SURVIVORS’ STORIES | Margaret Roberts, 62, Anniston

‘But then it comes back’ She beat breast cancer — twice By Brett Buckner

“Still, nothing can ever really prepare you for cancer when it happens to you,” she said. Roberts didn’t shy away from telling peoIt’s a dread that we all share deep down, ple about her cancer. In fact, the more people beneath the harsh glare of the doctor’s office she told — either at the Anniston bank where lights. To hear that devastating word — “can- she works or around the community — the cer” — attached to our names, to imagine it more support she found. It was a network she wreaking havoc in our lives and stealing us leaned on heavily when chemo left her sick away from our children, and weak. is unthinkable. “People don’t know what to say, Margaret Roberts has because there’s really nothing to say,” she been there … twice. explained. “Just offer encouragement In 1999, she sat in her and a shoulder to cry on. doctor’s office and was “When you’re diagnosed with cantold that she had breast cer, that’s when you find out just how cancer. The good news many other people have been through • The American Canwas that it was caught this awful thing. And if they’ve made it cer Society funds eight early, and there would through, pretty soon you realize that be no need for follow-up you can, too.” researchers in Alabama, treatment. Roberts has been a long-time for a total of more than In 2010, her cancer participant in Relay for Life events, $3.5 million in research came back. though initially it had nothing to grants. “This time, I wasn’t so do with her own cancer. As a bank • The American Canlucky,” said the 62-year- employee — first with SouthTrust, cer Society has funded old Roberts. “I had to which became Wachovia and is $3 billion in research have chemotherapy, and now Wells Fargo — Roberts has that was pretty rough. since 1946, helping fund long supported the cause. But But it saved my life, so it now that she is in remission, it’s such cancer discoverwas definitely worth it.” from a different perspective. ies as the breast cancer Today, Roberts is can“It’s much more personal drug tamoxifen, surgercer-free for the second now,” she said. “And to see all ies like the bone marrow time, but that dread still those people — the survivors transplant and cancer exists. and those walking for loved screenings like the PSA “With cancer, the ones who died — it lets you test. longer you go, the safer know that we are not alone. So you feel, like, ‘I’ve beaten many people have been down this thing, and I can go the same road.” on with my life.’ But then For those hearing “cancer” it comes back, always attached to their names for the first making you wonder about whether or not time, Roberts offers some hard-won there will be a next time … another time.” advice. Shock. Fear. Anger. These are the com“You’ve got to go through the shock mon stages that come with a cancer diagand the grief and the anger,” she said. nosis. Each one plays an important role in “It’s OK to feel those things. recovery, in dealing with the reality of cancer “Don’t be afraid to share your feeland providing the necessary strength to fight ings, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. whatever battle lies ahead. That kind of support helps the patient and Roberts had seen cancer take a toll on the those who care about them.” people she loved. Her mother died of breast Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ cancer. Her father had colon cancer. ymail.com Special to The Star

Looking for a cure

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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

SURVIVORS’ STORIES | JOHNNY AVERY, 68, ANNISTON

‘We’re people who don’t give up’ An accidental spokesman for men’s health By Brett Buckner

“That saved my life,” he said. “And I’ll tell anyone who asks.” Avery has seen a lot of friends die from cancer, so Men are notoriously hardheaded. he wasn’t all that shocked when he learned about his But, even beyond asking for directions or doing own diagnosis. anything worthwhile in the kitchen, men are espe“It wasn’t that cially skittish when it comes to going to the doctor, for devastating for me,” those routine check-ups and exams that are a sad fact he said. “I’ve been of growing older. working against Such tests — embarrassing and uncomfortable cancer, raising as they may be — can be the difference between money and awarelife and death. ness and all, that In 2008, when Johnny Avery was diagmy first thought nosed with prostate cancer, he became was, ‘OK. Here I am, something of an accidental spokesman now how am I going • 64 people will be for men’s health. to fight this thing?’” told, “You have cancer,” Avery found himself in a posiBack in the midaccording to the Amerition to tell men what could happen if 1990s, after a good can Cancer Society. they didn’t go to the doctor — and go friend died from • 561 people will before there’s a reason. cancer, Avery startfind answers to their “I talk all the time to pretty much ed raising money questions about cancer anyone who will listen,” he said. for cancer research. by calling 1-800-227“I nag them more than their By 1997, he was colwives.” lecting money in his 2345 or visiting While the subject might own neighborhood. www.cancer.org. be unappealing, ignoring it “We watched, might make matters worse. pretty helpless, as it “Cancer is cancer no broke her down and matter where it is,” said the chemo sucked the 68-year-old Avery. the life right out of “There’s nothing to be her,” he remembered. “It was bad, and I didn’t ever ashamed of, because want to see anybody go through that again. it wasn’t anything you “The more people I saw die, the more involved I did wrong. The only got.” embarrassing part In 2008, after seeing two more friends and a cousin is not taking care of die from cancer, Avery formed his own Relay for Life yourself — that’ll kill team. But then, as a cancer survivor, Avery’s outlook you.” changed. Avery was diag“It’s funny, all this time I thought I was working for nosed with an somebody else, I was really working for myself,” said aggressive form of Avery, who is now cancer-free. “If it wasn’t for all the prostate cancer. But money that’s gone into research and new machines, it because he caught it might have been a lot rougher for me. I went through relatively early, he was my treatment with no pain, no side effects, no nothable to take advantage ing.” of a form of radiation That’s why Avery believes there will one day be a treatment called Intencure for cancer. sity Modulated Radiation “Calhoun County has some of the most giving, Therapy (IMRT), in which enthusiastic, dedicated and courageous people,” he a high dose of radiation is said. “It’s unbelievable what they’ve done and are still delivered to the prostate doing. We’re people who don’t give up. In Calhoun gland, while minimizing County, we fight.” damage to healthy tissue. Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ymail.com. Special to The Star

Today in Alabama


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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012 SURVIVORS’ STORIES | april turnbow, 38, wellborn Submitted photo

April Turnbow, front, with husband Darrel and children (left to right) Patrick, Staci and Katherine Turnbow-Wagoner.

‘Don’t let the cancer win’

By Brett Buckner

trated by the way people reacted to her having cancer. She knew they meant well, but In 1988, when April Turnbow their sympathy did little to stifle was first diagnosed with cancer, the fear and anger rising inside her reaction was terribly common her. and yet utterly personal. “People kept telling me, ‘I’m so “Terrified. Alone. Hopeless. sorry’ — I just didn’t want to hear Those were the emotions … the that,” she said. “I wanted to say, only emotions I felt for a long ‘Why are you sorry? You’re fine. time,” said Turnbow, who didn’t I’m the one with cancer.’” want to go into specifics about her What Turnbow needed was a initial diagnosis, adding that she’s community, people who had been battling endocrine cancer. “I was there and understood what she completely lost and didn’t know was going through. She found that what to do.” in a pair of organizations: Touch, Turnbow wasn’t comfortable a support group for cancer survisharing her struggles outside of vors; and Relay for Life. a close-knit group of friends and “You need people who’ve been loved ones. But the news quietly there, who’ve survived and who’ve leaked out, and she was often frus- fought this thing,” she said. Special to The Star

“You need someone who’s gone through the horrors of wig shopping and the pain of chemo and radiation, the sickness. “You need somebody to just meet you at McDonald’s for a cup of coffee just to talk. “You need someone to tell you it’ll be OK, because they’ve been there and know it will.” Today, as a 24-year veteran of the war on cancer, Turnbow has had those roles reversed. She’s the one offering strength to others who might feel alone, terrified and hopeless, as she once did. “I just tell them to never give up,” she said. “There’s a thousand ways to say the same thing, but it all comes down to, ‘Keep fighting and don’t let this thing get the bet-

ter of you … don’t let the cancer win.’” She’s witnessed firsthand the ravages that cancer can inflict — not only in her own body but in the lives of loved ones. She has lost several family members to cancer, including her mother, stepmother and, most recently, her sister-inlaw. “Cancer has made my life hell,” she said. “It’s destroyed so much that there aren’t words to tell it all.” And still she fights. But she’s not alone. Turnbow not only has support through groups like Touch and her work for Relay for Life, she has a loving family that has endured “more than anyone deserves.” She’s the mother of three, and has a hus-

band she calls her hero. “A lot of men wouldn’t have stuck around,” she said of her husband, Darrel, to whom she’s been married for 15 years, “He’s been amazing. I don’t know where I’d be without him … without all of them.” Unfortunately, this will be the first year in recent memory that Turnbow won’t be able to participate in Relay for Life, because of health and timing issues. “People just assume that I’m walking for myself, but I’m not,” she said. “I walk for everyone in my family who can’t walk for themselves. “And I’ll walk for them again.” Contact Brett Buckner at brettbuckner@ymail.com


HEALTHY Living: Special Edition MAY 2012

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Time is of the essence It might make a life-and-death difference COLON CANCER

By Barbara Mahany Chicago Tribune

Deep down inside, we all know it: It’s inevitable, this living, breathing, beautiful, multipart machine, the human body, is — at some point, somewhere — going to break down. We’ve all heard the warnings, the doctors’ admonitions to get brave and submit to any one of an array of screenings, but too many of us brush them off — thinking, “Not me. I’m immune.” Or maybe we’re scared silly. Well, here are just a few medical realities to ponder, to make you think twice about putting off those routine screenings. The goal is happier endings.

2012 Equipped not stripped!

What you should know: The survival rate for colon cancer diagnosed at Stage 1 is 74 percent, according to the American Cancer Society. The survival rate for Stage 4 colon cancer is 6 percent. It can take anywhere from eight to 10 years for symptoms to arise, and for polyps to grow cancerous, so early detection is your best bet, when the cancer is considered highly curable. What you can do: If you have no family history of colon cancer, and no symptoms, celebrate your 50th birthday with a colonoscopy. If it’s clean, with no signs of suspicious polyps — and no onset of symptoms down the road — you can wait another 10 years before the next scope.

Once you hit 75, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends no routine colon cancer screenings anymore (and no screening at all once you’re over 85).

CERVICAL CANCER What you should know: Globally, cervical cancer is a major health problem, with a yearly incidence of 371,000 cases and an annual death rate of 190,000 women, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). It’s estimated by the National Institutes of Health that 50 percent of the women diagnosed with cervical cancer each year have never had a Pap smear, and another 10 percent had not been screened within

five years of the diagnosis, says Dr. Jessica Shepherd, a member of ACOG’s Committee for Gynecologic Practice. What you can do: When a woman turns 21, she should have Pap smears every two years during her 20s, according to the latest ACOG recommendations. When a woman turns 30, she can be screened every three years as long as she’s had three consecutive negative (or clear) Pap tests, and no history of abnormal Pap tests or findings of human papillomavirus (HPV) in the past. However, women with certain risk factors and health issues might need more frequent screenings. Pap smears are recommended until a woman is 65, as long as she has had three normal Pap tests in a row and no abnormal results in 10 years.

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HEALTHY Living: SPECIAL SECTION MAY 2012

positively positively positively positively

unique. advanced. specialized. focused on women. Some women are so busy they forget about their own healthcare needs. Stringfellow Memorial Hospital can help. Our digital mammogram is 10 to 20% more accurate and it emits less radiation than nondigital mammograms. For women over 65 and those at risk for bone problems, we also offer DEXA bone density scans. And we’re the only local hospital to offer digital mammography and DEXA scans in one positively convenient location. So, here’s your reminder: Schedule your appointment today.

Call 256-235-8920 to schedule your appointment. This hospital is partially owned by physicians.


May 2012 Healthy Living