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Doctors say early detection is key when battling colorectal cancer

FOX Carolina's Zach Prelutsky speaks with an Upstate man diagnosed with colon cancer in 2021.
Published: Mar. 10, 2022 at 11:46 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Life as Carlos Galloway knew it changed in February 2021.

“There’s nothing like hearing those words saying that you have cancer,” he said.

Galloway was diagnosed with colorectal cancer, also known as colon cancer.

“This is not a disease of old people. This is not just a disease of men or women, anybody can get colorectal cancer,” said Dr. Cedrek McFadden, a Colorectal Surgeon with Prisma Health.

Awareness to the disease was brought to the Upstate and beyond after Anderson native and Actor Chadwick Boseman passed away in 2020 following a four-year battle after being diagnosed with stage III colon cancer his family said progressed into stage IV over time.

Only in his mid-40s Galloway started to have symptoms, and coupled with a family history of cancer, he decided to get checked out.

“Those experiences kind of prompted me to take action with it,” he said.

Thanks to early detection and a surgery after the diagnosis, Galloway’s cancer is currently gone from his body.

Colorectal cancer is one of the leading cancer-related causes of death in the U.S.

But if caught early, the survival rate is high.

“In early stages survival can be greater than 90 percent. And that’s fantastic for having a diagnoses of a cancer.” said Dr. McFadden.

As more and more people under the age of 50 are facing a diagnosis, that’s why McFadden says it’s so important for people to get checked out if you don’t feel good.

“You know your body better than anybody else and so recognizing when something isn’t right. Bringing that to the attention of not only your family members or friends, but to your doctor and really holding your doctor accountable,” he said.

Just over one year after getting the news of his cancer, Galloway is still spending time with his family and walking the beach with his grandkids.

“I feel very fortunate. My outcome I have right now is not like everybody else’s,” he said.

Doctor’s also say that screening for the disease is key when you don’t have symptoms, and getting a diagnostic test when you do have symptoms.