Although she was tired and had lost weight, Linda Savage believed it was because of new circumstances in her life, including a recent separation and beginning graduate school.
During a routine physical, blood work showed severe anemia – and luckily, Linda’s doctor took her symptoms seriously and ordered more tests. She was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer with tumors in her cecum, duodenum and liver. Linda started treatment immediately, and it eventually shrank her tumors enough to remove them.
Since the beginning of 2001, four new drugs have been approved for treating colorectal cancer, and Linda has taken all of them. She has also participated in two clinical trials – research studies that try to find new and better ways of treating people. By joining a clinical trial, Linda gained access to these new treatments before they were widely available – and was able to help others by contributing to medical research.
Linda, now 52, wants everyone to know that colorectal cancer can develop into stage IV without causing any noticeable symptoms, which is why proper screening is critical.
To find out more about clinical trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov.
UPDATE: The Colon Club is sad to report that Linda Savage died on February 10, 2006. We will miss her more than you can imagine, but will continue to be inspired by her spirit and her refusal to give up.