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Survivor: “Claim Victory” Over Colon Cancer

March 31, 2014

Tommie Chambers, of Columbus, Ga. knows his situation is unique. He was able to recover from colon cancer without chemotherapy or radiation. But as a survivor, he has resumed his normal life and wants to tell others about it.

“Yes, I had cancer, but today, I claim victory!” Chambers said.

When Chambers was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2009 at age 62, he had never had a colonoscopy. He had checkups with his doctor occasionally, but he said he never felt the need to get screened. He was healthy and active, after all.

“That’s something I regret. Knowing what I know now, I could have prevented this,” he said.

Before his diagnosis, Chambers had been losing a little weight, but it was nausea and vomiting that sent him to the emergency room. His wife was determined that he would not go home until he had all possible tests done. Chambers said he was shocked when the doctor told him that he had stomach ulcers and a blockage in his colon, which was cancer. Two weeks later, he had surgery, and four inches of his colon were removed. By that time, he had lost about 40 pounds.

Cancer-free since 2009, Chambers is a perfect example of how attitude not only can help survivors heal, but also gain their lives back.

“My faith in God and the collective positive attitude I shared with my doctors and family were contagious,” he said.

Of course, he emphasizes that being positive does not mean people at risk shouldn’t be cautious.

“For anyone over 50, don’t wait. Even if you feel great, don’t wait to get screened,” he said. “And if you are diagnosed, believe that there is life at the end of the tunnel. If you have faith, and the right kind of attitude, you will be able to once again pursue life to the fullest.”

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For Herman Anderson, it’s all about getting people to get screened for cancer. When the Marietta, Ga., resident was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer in 2006, he was 62 years old and had never been screened. He knows better now.

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