Early detection saves lives - she's proof
During her 32-year career in emergency room nursing, Donna Gallant says she has seen plenty of people come in with painful symptoms of advanced cancer that could have been detected much earlier.
It was that memory that finally convinced her to use a FIT kit - an at home test for colon cancer - back in March 2012. Since she felt healthy and energetic and had no family history of cancer, the Summerside resident had been putting off taking the test.
However, a few weeks after sending in her test, she got a shocking phone call. Her test results had come back positive. A colonoscopy revealed a suspicious lesion and a follow up CT scan determined she had stage 2 cancer through her bowel wall.
“A lot of people wait to go to the doctor until they feel unwell, but then it’s too late,” Gallant said. “That is the whole point of prevention, to catch it early.”
She underwent six weeks of chemotherapy and radiation, then surgery followed by more chemotherapy and a second surgery.
“My doctor believed the outcome would be good. It was a little pain for big gain.”
Regular screening can detect pre-cancerous polyps (growths) before they become cancer or early stage cancer cells and can improve your chance for a complete recovery.
Donna now is cancer free. She says taking the FIT test saved her life.
FIT is a screening test for colon cancer that can detect blood in your stool. The test can be done in the comfort of your own home following the simple instructions provided in the kit. There is no preparation required for the test.
“I tell all my friends to get the test; you can’t put things off and deny them,” she said. “It’s a simple test, but one that can save your life.”