CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) — FOX 8 Anchor Tracy McCool shared the news early Wednesday morning that her husband, John, has passed away.
He was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer nearly five years ago.
John and Tracy shared their journey with FOX 8 viewers. John wanted to share his story to encourage others to get screened for cancer.
“Especially my male friends that are around my age and they ask, ‘Hey, what can I do for you?’ The first thing I say is, ‘Have you gotten a test yet?,” John said. “And if they tell me no, I say, ‘Go get a test.'”
John’s cancer was caught late. He hoped others would catch theirs in time to be treated and, hopefully, cured.
“Look, you need to go. You need to go when you’re 35, not 50,” John said. “Fifty is when you get it. I probably had cancer for a few years. I walked in and I was stage four.”
According to the Cleveland Clinic, you need to know your family history.
Here are their guidelines, according to your risk:
Your risk is not significantly different than the average population.
- Age 45 without a personal or family history of colorectal adenomatous polyps or cancer OR
- One cousin, aunt, uncle or grandparent with colorectal adenomatous polyps or cancer.
Screening Recommendation: A colonoscopy every 10 years beginning at age 45 is preferable. The alternative would be a yearly stool test for blood (hemoccult) and a flexible sigmoidoscopy every 5 years.
Your risk for colon cancer is approximately twice the average risk.
- One parent, brother or sister with colorectal polyps or cancer who was diagnosed older than age 60.
Screening Recommendation: Colonoscopy every 10 years (as described above) beginning at age 40.
- Personal history of adenomatous polyps or cancer Or
- One parent, brother, sister or child with colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps, who was diagnosed at age 60 or less Or
- Two first degree relatives (on same side of family) with colorectal cancer or adenomatous polyps (parent, brother or sister or child).
Screening Recommendation: Colonoscopies at intervals dependent on size, number and pathology of polyps found on prior colonoscopy.
- Three or more relatives with colorectal adenomatous polyps or cancer, especially if one is age 50 or less at diagnosis.
Screening Recommendation: Colonoscopy beginning 10 years earlier than the age at which your youngest relative was diagnosed, or when you are age 40, whichever is younger. Interval is every 5 years or earlier dependent on findings of the colonoscopy. If you are at high risk, you should be assessed by specialists in inherited syndromes and have genetic counseling. You may be eligible for testing to see if you have inherited a gene that puts you at risk for colon cancer. Screening recommendations will be provided as part of your assessment.