OLYMPIA FIELDS, Illinois - Rachel Quade, a 92 year-old Beecher, Illinois, resident, enjoys good health and an active lifestyle. However, a two-month bout of chronic constipation in early 2018 caused her concern.
She insisted on a colonoscopy.
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that adults ages 50 to 75 be screened for colorectal cancer. The decision to be screened after age 75 should be made on an individual basis. Normally, colonoscopies are not recommended after age 75 because of weakness in the colon area lining. If you are over age 75, ask your doctor if you should be screened for colorectal cancer.
For Quade, the colonoscopy revealed a cancerous tumor where her rectum and colon meet. She immediately began chemotherapy and radiation treatment at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. Quade said she didn't have any side effects to her cancer treatment, besides being more fatigued towards the end of therapy.
"People do much better nowadays with chemotherapy in all diagnoses," said Terri Foelsch, OCN, colorectal cancer nurse navigator at Franciscan Health Olympia Fields. "There's no comparison between today's side effects and years ago."
Foelsch explained that it is important to stay in touch with your doctor during treatments and discuss any side effects.
"The goal is to allow patients to continue living their lives with as few side effects as possible," she said.
At the end of treatment, Quade went through a CT scan and follow-up colonoscopy for results.
They delivered the results everyone was hoping for. Quade's tumor was gone.
In this case, Quade trusted her gut and pushed her doctor to explore a colonoscopy. It saved her life.
Get the facts about colonoscopy. Download a free guide or watch a video from one of our experts as they discuss the facts about the screening and its importance in preventing and detecting colorectal cancer in its early stages.