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My family has experienced a rare medical event. My husband was diagnosed with colon cancer in September after a young, aggressive family practitioner prescribed a colonoscopy after noting a possible symptom during a routine physical. My husband is 47 and this test is not usually ordered until age 50.

The gastroenterologist found a malignant tumor and a surgery date was set. The tumor and about a foot of colon were removed. We waited in fear for a week, but pathology results came back showing the cancer was in the earliest stage. The tumor was still contained.

The surgeon said it was very rare to find cancer this early. I asked why people weren't being tested sooner, since colon cancer is the second-most common form. He spoke the words that tell me why we don't experience more medical miracles: "It's too expensive." Insurance companies won't cover the cost of this important procedure until enough symptoms warrant it. This is all about statistics and money. Insurance companies are determining not just our quality of life, but whether we get a chance at life at all.

Darlyne Traum Strohmenger
West Seneca

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