Healthy Living: Colonoscopy screenings may find early cancer
After Toni Moore discovered she had stage four cancer that began in her colon, her sister and fellow cancer survivor joined her to raise awareness on how crucial colonoscopy screenings can be.
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"I'm the care taker. Big family I'm the oldest of five."
Like any big sister, Toni Moore spends a lot of time trying to take care of her family.
"I'm the person who's always in control. Or I think that I am,” said Moore.
When she was hit with overwhelming pain in her right side in July of 2009, Toni realized she wasn't in control.
"I thought I had appendicitis,” said Moore.
After a few routine tests doctors found what was wrong.
“And it was determined that it was colon cancer that spread to my liver,” she said.
Toni had stage four cancer.
"The tumors, at that point, were too big in my liver to operate on,” said Moore.
Aggressive chemotherapy and two surgeries kept her alive. Toni is reminded everyday that things could have been different.
Tine Cottone, Toni’s sister said, “My sister wasn't screened until she was 58 years old."
Toni's sister Tina is a nurse in the Gastrointestinal Endoscopy Department at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
“Colonoscopies can save lives. We know that."
Tina and few other nurses decided they wanted to do something about it organizing a walk to raise awareness and money to fight colon cancer.
Breast cancer survivor, Ginny Gullo said, “Well I said if we're going to have a walk we're going to have a race."
Gullo knows firsthand how important research is, an experimental drug help her beat breast cancer.
“We've spent so much time and effort on breast cancer, and it's saved so many lives. I want to see colon cancer be the same."
"Ah, It's been a journey,” said Moore.
A journey Toni recently learned isn't over.
"In October, I had another scan and they were in my lungs now,” she said.
While she continues to fight for her life she hopes speaking out will help others.
"I still hope for a cure that's what I hope. And I hope my story will make other people aware of why it's so important to get a colonoscopy,” said Moore.