‘Keep On Dancin in Heaven’
- Over the weekend, The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise contestant Tia Booth shared the heartbreaking news via Instagram that her father, Kenny, had passed away after a hard-fought battle with colon cancer.
- In April 2021, Booth, now 30, shared the news (also on Instagram) that her father had been diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer a month earlier. She also shared that he had started chemotherapy.
- Later stages of colon cancer are not always curable. But because there are so many treatment options available, the cancer can often be managed. In the last few years, new treatments have emerged that offer some hope. One treatment, called checkpoint inhibitors, is for people with a certain genetic profile, such as Lynch Syndrome.
She revealed the sad news in an Instagram post on Saturday morning.Read More
“After a year long fight, I’m so thankful you’re free from cancer’s evil grip. Keep an eye on me&Mama and keep on dancin in Heaven🤍-your little girl.”
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Kenny Booth’s Cancer Diagnosis
In April 2021, Tia Booth, now 30, shared the news (also on Instagram) that her father had been diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer a month earlier. She also shared that he had started chemotherapy.
In her Instagram post caption, Tia explained that she and her family were hoping for minimal side effects and, at the time, he had been handling treatment well.
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“In early March, my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer and it’s taken me since then to even wrap my mind around it,” she wrote last April. “Cancer is a nasty little word and when it affects someone you love, it feels like getting the wind knocked outta ya.”
Although not curable, we are all thankful it’s treatable with Chemo-started today! Dad said it was boring, but he had a tv, ice water & a recliner so he had it made🤪 if you wonder why I handle stress with humor, there it is. Hoping for minimal side effects and that he’ll handle treatment like a champ-so far so good!”
Understanding Colon Cancer
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that affects the large intestine (colon) or the end of the intestine (rectum). This cancer is also called colorectal cancer.
This cancer starts when abnormal lumps called polyps grow in the colon or rectum. If you don’t have these polyps removed, they can sometimes change into cancer. It takes up to 10 years for a colon polyp to become a full-blown cancer, according to SurvivorNet experts, but when colon cancer is found early, it can often be managed.
The treatment of stage 1 colon cancer is surgery, in which a piece of the colon is removed and the colon is put back together, Dr. Heather Yeo, a colorectal surgeon and surgical oncologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian, previously told SurvivorNet.
Surgery alone can be curative for these patients; chemotherapy isn’t usually recommended for patients with localized disease. (Tia Booth’s father had advanced-stage cancer, which is why he received chemotherapy.) Patients with stage 1 colon cancer have a very good prognosis, with a five-year survival rate of about 90%.
However, advanced stages of colorectal cancer are not always curable. But because there are so many treatment options available, they can often be managed.
In the last few years, new treatments have emerged that offer some hope. One treatment, called checkpoint inhibitors, is for people with a certain genetic profile, such as Lynch Syndrome.
Lynch Syndrome can be passed down from either parent, and if you have it, you have an 80% chance of developing colon cancer in your lifetime. (It remains unclear whether Kenny Booth had this syndrome.)
These people may indeed be able to benefit from something called a checkpoint inhibitor, which are man-made antibodies that shut down key proteins on immune cells like PD-L1 — essentially halting a cancer’s ability to spread. Checkpoint inhibitors have been proven effective for certain later-stage cancers, Dr. Scott Strome, now the executive dean of the College of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science Center, told SurvivorNet. But the genetic codes in certain people may inhibit their positive effects.
In order to know if you’re a viable candidate for checkpoint inhibitors as a treatment for your later-stage cancer, check with your doctor. They’ll go over your hereditary information to determine if it’s one of your best options.
Tia Booth Says ‘Keep On Dancin in Heaven’: How to Cope With the Death of a Parent
Camila Legaspi, like Tia Booth, lost a parent to cancer.
Camila’s mother died of breast cancer, and the experience of watching her mother face the illness took a big toll on her, she previously told SurvivorNet; having a parent go through cancer, especially at a young age, is incredibly challenging for the whole family.
Once her mother, Gabriela, died, Camila decided to start seeing a therapist. She said that having someone there to talk to made a “huge difference,” and helped her to appreciate all the great things she still had in her life, even though her mother was no longer with her.
“Embrace the situation as best as you can, because the reality is … that it sucks,” Camila said.
There are many different ways to cope with grief; it looks different for everyone. But Camila recommends that anyone going through a similar situation and dealing with loss should reach out for help if they need it — it’s OK to not be OK, she added. It’s what works best for her, and could be what works for you, too, if you are finding yourself in a similar situation.
“Therapy saved my life,” she told us. “I was dealing with some really intense anxiety and depression at that point. It just changed my life because I was so drained by all the negativity that was going on. Going to a therapist helped me realize that there was still so much out there for me.”
“The reality is when you lose someone, it’s really, really, really hard. … It’s totally OK to talk to someone, and I’m so happy that I talked to my therapist.”