If anybody is the poster child for early detection through colonoscopy, it’s Vincent Cremona. While the recommendation for colorectal cancer screening for men and women without risk factors is to begin at age 50, that might have been too late for him.
It may have been a stroke of luck that more than a decade ago Vincent, now 48, underwent a full series of tests to determine why he was suffering the effects of what at the time was likely significant stress.
Two colonoscopies later, a small spot was discovered in his intestine, and a biopsy showed it was cancer. Within two weeks, he was in surgery. Eben Strobos, MD, removed more than a foot of his intestine through a high-tech procedure using robotics and leaving Vincent with just five small incisions.
“Of course I wish it hadn’t happened,” Vincent says. “It was a good thing I came in and got it taken care of. I’m perfectly healthy now—I feel as good as I did before the surgery.”
Vincent had no symptoms and no family history or risk factors before the cancer was detected last summer, so having that colonoscopy early was the only way it was diagnosed and treated. For the next few years, he’ll have an annual colonoscopy, along with regular blood tests and imaging to make sure the cancer doesn’t return.
“It’s hard to believe now there was anything wrong,” he says. “I was lucky.”