Sioux Falls woman Dee Raether wants everyone to know they should have their recommended colonoscopies at the age of 50 and every five years thereafter. Every year, approximately one in 17 people will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Screening and early detection can save lives.
After two clear colonoscopies, Raether went into her third colonoscopy thinking her outcome would be fine. When she woke up and saw her son standing over her with worried eyes, she knew something was not right. Her physician at Sanford Health found 25 polyps and cancer in her colon.
Within one week, she had started her fight against colon cancer by undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatments to kill the cancer and shrink the polyps. Raether says she knew she was in good hands the moment she met her oncologist, Sana Jeffreys, MD with Sanford Cancer Center Hematology and Oncology.
Raether explained, “Dr. Jeffreys looked me in the eyes and said, ‘You’re going to be ok.’ It was then I knew that I had to do everything they told me if I wanted to live — and living was the most important thing to me.”
Raether said she learned a lot about the disease and herself through the experience. She went online and read about colon cancer and talked to her nurses and physicians about how she felt. She was so grateful that the staff was available to answer her questions.
One year later, Raether learned she is cancer-free.
For more information about colonoscopies, contact your physician or call Sanford Clinic Gastroenterology at (605) 328-8500.