M. D. Anderson Patient Shares How She Survived Colorectal Cancer
SCOPE run focuses on educating and supporting survivors, family and friends
M. D. Anderson News Release 03/24/10
For Hempstead resident Lynette Love, mother of four and grandmother of five, surviving colorectal cancer took courage, diligence and faith. Now a 3-year survivor, Love is giving the support back to the community through her participation in the Sprint for Colorectal Oncology Prevention and Education (SCOPE) run.
Love has joined The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in its fifth year of hosting SCOPE to help build awareness, promote education and celebrate survivorship. “The first fun run I participated in was shortly after my diagnosis, and I met a survivor who shared his story with me. Having the opportunity to meet others who were touched by the disease, either directly or indirectly, really encouraged me to focus on beating this,” said Love.
Love, a patient at M. D. Anderson, was diagnosed in 2006 with colorectal cancer at age 45. "I didn't know much about colorectal cancer. There is no family history of this type of cancer, and I didn't personally know of anyone who had it," said Love.
Through her research on the disease and treatment by her M. D. Anderson oncologist, Cathy Eng, M.D., associate professor in the Department of Gastrointestinal Medical Oncology, Love learned that colorectal cancer is often preventable and, if detected early, curable.
“Often times this type of patient is underrecognized. She had relatively no symptoms,” Eng said. “Because this disease can affect anyone, regardless of health or family history, a healthy diet, moderate exercise and regular colonoscopy screenings are recommended. Those with increased risk factors should pay particular attention to their health and the recommended screenings.”
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death for men and women in the United States, and is the third most commonly diagnosed malignancy among men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, 2009 yielded:
- 106,100 new cases of colon cancer
- 40,870 new cases of rectal cancer
- 49,920 deaths from colorectal cancer
Love is not alone when it comes to not knowing the facts about the disease prior to her diagnosis. Many people are unaware of risk factors surrounding colorectal cancer. Most importantly, many are unaware that there are steps that can be taken to prevent this disease from developing. “This is one of the many reasons why the annual SCOPE run is so important,” said Love. “It’s an opportunity for me to share my story and to encourage and help educate others.”
After radiation, surgery and chemotherapy, Love has a new lease on life. “This was definitely a life-altering diagnosis for me,” said Love. Through her experience she has learned to eat a healthier diet and take better care of herself. “Every person is different. It’s important to be persistent and to know your risks,” said Love. “If you fall into the high-risk group, it’s even more important to get screened early.”
The annual run motivates and encourages Love, who will lead a team of 40 at this year’s run. “This is a fun event, and it really touches a lot of people; not just survivors, but family and friends as well,” Love said.
SCOPE, a chip-timed race sanctioned by USA Track & Field, has raised $250,000 since its inception. In addition to the adult 5K walk/run at 8 a.m., the fun run will also have a non-competitive 1K kids race that will begin at 9 a.m. Awards will be given to the top male and female survivors, overall male and female runners and all children who participate in the kids race. After the race, participants will enjoy food, drinks and music at the post-race party in the breezeway of M. D. Anderson’s Lowry & Peggy Mays Clinic, 1220 Holcombe Blvd. Free parking is available at the Pressler Garage, 1180 Pressler St.
Race entry fees vary and depend on the registration date. Visit http://dcprpinetcmswww.mdanderson.edu:9992/Rhythmyx/assembler/render?sys_revision=6&sys_siteid=305&sys_authtype=0&sys_context=0&sys_contentid=10953&sys_variantid=558 for more details.