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New York Times Articles

jsabol's picture
Posts: 1156
Joined: Dec 2003

Hi all, this Sunday's New York Times has a front page story about a YOUNG colon cancer survivor and the complicated choices facing all of us with this disease. The feature article "Cancer Patients, Lost in Maze of Uneven Care" and the accompanying articles "Push Hard for the Answers You Require" and "Doing Battle with Insurance Company" are must reads! The president of the American Cancer Society, Dr. Richard Wender, is also taking questions to post the answers on line. The articles emphasize good points and tips for finding our way through this maze.
You can read it on-line at: NYTimes.com
It's gratifying to see this kind of coverage about colon cancer. Best to all.

Betsydoglover's picture
Posts: 1256
Joined: Jul 2005

Judy - thanks for the great articles. The variability in medical care is really depressing - and patients for the most part are really in the dark about whether or not they are receiving the best treatment.

I feel so lucky because I was very naive when diagnosed. I took the local oncologist recommended by both my surgeon and internist (although I live in DC so local can still mean connected with centers like Georgetown and NIH.) My husband talked to two of his physicians after I had my surgery and both said "if I had cancer, I'd see Dr. Aylesworth (my onc)". But I never even thought of going to Georgetown for a second opinion. Still I have done well and she did refer me to NIH for workups and evaluation and seems very well connected with the major cancer centers. If things had not gone as well for me as they have, I know because of this board (at the least) I would know to at least go to Georgetown, University of MD cancer center and Johns Hopkins and see what they have to say.

Thanks for the links,

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Judy,

Thanks for posting about the NY Times articles. I'm also glad to see CRC getting some news coverage...hopefully it will translate into folks getting colonoscopies.

It will be interesting to see Dr. Wender's Q&A tomorrow to see the types of questions asked and certainly the responses. I actually posted a question.

Thanks for sharing!

Posts: 109
Joined: Feb 2006


Thank you so much for the post with the article on Lost in Maze in the NY Times. What a awesome article, and boy did it hit home for us. We were lucky(we were lost in the maze) and after 5 months with a doctor just saying chemo..chemo..chemo. no surgery we got out of there. Today we are with Shands University of Florida and have a awesome team of doctors that we trust. 7/13/07 we celebrated 1 year NED for stage IV Colorectal Cancer with Met to Liver.Thank you so much for the link


robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Thanks for passing this along Judy. Karen's story is very powerful. Someone should invite her to join this board!!
I noted that Dr. Deborah Schrag from Sloan-Kettering (in the video) reiterated the "Colon cancer is exceedingly rare in people under 50" line. I hear this in a lot of the colon cancer clips on youtube so have been unwilling to post them because they reinforce a mindset that quite frankly is killing us!!
Look forward to seeing your question Katie.
Rob; in Vancouver...

usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hi Rob,

I agree that the old school mindset is killing us. Considering Dr. Schrag is a leading GI Oncologist, hearing her make a statement that people diagnosed with CRC under age 50 is exceedingly rare is not only maddening, it's wrong. Most current statistics are that 10% of CRC patients are diagnosed under age 50, which I don't believe qualifies statistically as "exceedingly rare." Dr. Schrag also commented that CRC primarily affects people over age 70. I believe that promotes complacency, not awareness, even for those aged 50 and above.


Posts: 372
Joined: Aug 2006

Wow....so you're saying the New York Times actually did a story that is based on reality and got something right. Could it be a coincidence that "Sicko" has just opened. Was I wrong about the Easter Bunny too? Sorry but when the New York Times starts to worry about us then it time to wonder what they're up to.

Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2007

Hi,I am the person in the article...and hadn't known about this site until somebody told me. So, I am happy to join. These groups are important. I belong to Colon Club and the stories and attitudes there were part of the reason I KNEW I had other options besides what I was being told.

As for the NYT being a response to Sicko or a ploy for attention. That's very far from the truth. The journalist hadn't even seen the movie and we've been working together for about three months. She was extremely honest, concerned and compassionate. Her sister had a bout with cancer. The photographer who flew to Seattle from NY had a father who passed away from cancer.

I was proud to participate in an article that may motivate people to be aggressive in their treatment options as well as be aware when they suffer some medical mality (for us with Colon Cancer it may be blood in the stool).

I hope it accomplishes that!

For me, I look at my daughter and am inspired to get to her next milestone. This weekend it was a trip to a cabin and going swimming! Next week we start swimming lessons!


usakat's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jul 2006

Hello Karen,

Welcome to our group! I'm so sorry for what you have been through during a time in your life that should be nothing but beautiful. Since you are here though, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for telling your story to the NY Times! Personally, I don't care what motivated the Times to feature your story, the fact that it was published gives me hope that we can change that old and outdated mindset that people under 50 rarely get colon cancer. We do get colon cancer and when we do we have to fight the medical misnomer that because we're young we shouldn't be properly screened.

I admire your bravery and appreciate your advocacy.

I wish you and yours good health and much happiness.


kerry's picture
Posts: 1317
Joined: Jan 2003

Welcome Karen! I thank Judy for forwarding the NYTimes article to me.

The article was great and hopefully an eye opener to all who read it, especially those who have not faced colon cancer and to those doctors who assume that when you have "symptoms" and are under the age of 50, that it must be IBS, hemorroids or something else. Colon Cancer does strike those under the age of 50.

I have always preached to folks to be aggressive about their treatment options. I've had to change doctors as well and I'm thankful I did.

You have a lot of inspiration at your house to fight this battle with all you have. I admire you for your determination and attitude. Most of the folks here at this site are fighters.



Posts: 2
Joined: Jul 2007

HI Everyone
I am new to this site but I just wanted to say that YES colon cancer does strike before the age of 50. I have stage 4 colon cancer and I am 52 years old and the Doc told me that I have prob had this for 5 years now. I often wonder what would of happened If I would of had a colon check at age 45 or so-would my cancer of only been a pulap? Could it of been early enough so I wouldn't have cancer now? I think the age for WOMAN and Men to get their colon checked should be 40 years old.
Sincerly Tess

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Welcome Karen,
I'm just north of you here in Vancouver, BC. I appreciated reading your story and was happy to hear you had the liver resection. I've had one as well, about 2/3, right lobe.
I hope you have many, many, many more years of enjoying your daughter!!
Rob; in Vancouver

robinvan's picture
Posts: 1014
Joined: May 2007

Hi again Karen...
I noticed in the NYT article that your CT scan showed a spleen lesion. I had one show up on a CT too and it caused considerable worry until a PET Scan showed it to be a "non-malignant process", possibly a cyst. Colon cancer doesn't normally hit the spleen. I hope you get it figured out soon.
In the meantime... keep on swimming!!
BTW... there are a lot of other young Mom's on this site. You'll hear from them no doubt.

christeleb's picture
Posts: 60
Joined: Apr 2007

Hi Karen,

I loved the article about your story and then i saw you here, I was so happy you found this support group.

I'm 36 and was dx in April 07 with stage IV colon cancer with mets to liver. I had colon/liver resection on May 8th abd today was my 5th chemo.

I also have a 1 year old. So I can totally relate to your situation. My daughter gives me so much energy, it's just amazing.

So welcome again and hope to see you soon on this forum.


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