Losing a Brother to Cancer
- Today co-host Craig Melvin, 42, has been an advocate for colon cancer ever since his older brother Lawrence lost his battle in 2021 at 43 years old, and recently went on The Doctors to continue spreading his message.
- The broadcaster sat down with SurvivorNet in a previous interview to discuss colon cancer awareness and the importance of knowing your family history.
- Medical experts often say you shouldn’t die from embarrassment just to avoid discomfort talking about the colon or the rectum. Sometimes it’s highly necessary for doctors and for people like Melvin to rattle cages in order to make an impact.
“We lost him in the prime of his life to a disease that people just don’t talk about,” Melvin said during an appearance last year on a show called The Doctors.Read More
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An Advocacy Mission for Colon Cancer
The broadcaster sat down with SurvivorNet in a previous interview to discuss colon cancer awareness and the importance of knowing your family history.
Related: ‘Today’ Co-Host Craig Melvin’s Brother Gets a Colonoscopy on Camera To Honor Brother Who Died From Colon Cancer at 43
“One of the things that we found out after my brother was diagnosed is that there was, in fact, a family history of colorectal cancer. It didn’t come up until we started asking questions … that’s the case in many families.” Melvin told us. “People don’t like talking about their colons or their rectums or blood in their stool. These aren’t conversations that families have.”
Why It’s Crucial to Know Your Family Health History with Colon Cancer
“When you start to have conversations like that with family members and family history becomes apparent … then that leads to other conversations with primary care physicians,” he said. “If one person does it and goes to their primary care physician, who then refers them to someone and they get a colonoscopy and they find something, we may have saved one life.”
‘You Shouldn’t Die From Embarrassment’— Colon Cancer Can Be Prevented
Colorectal cancer is almost completely preventable, but it’s still the third most common cause of cancer related deaths in the U.S. Which means there is still much more work to do at getting people more comfortable discussing this topic and going in to get checked.
Many people are uncomfortable discussing bowel movements and anxious about the prospect of a colonoscopy, which may lead them to ignore symptoms.
Related: 5 Possible Signs of Colon Cancer; Don’t Be Afraid to Look in the Toilet!
Medical experts often say “you shouldn’t die from embarrassment.” Sometimes it’s highly necessary for doctors and for people like Melvin to rattle cages in order to make a difference.
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