Mom, wife, realtor, runner, cellist, and colon cancer survivor for five and a half years. Suzanne Miller was taken aback when she was diagnosed with Stage I colon cancer at the age of 40. Colorectal cancer screenings start at 45 years for average-risk adults. She was in good health, trained for marathons, and ate well. Luckily, she was able to undergo surgery on November 18, 2016, to remove the cancer. 

Suzanne realized she aspired to turn this event in her life into something good rather than dwelling on the fact that she had cancer. Since her surgery, on the 18th of each month, she spreads awareness by posting on Instagram and Facebook to remind individuals to “keep their rear in the clear.” Everyone who is over 45, under 45 with symptoms, or has a family history of colon or rectal cancer should get screened for colorectal cancer. Those with a family history of colorectal cancer should start screenings at 40 years or 10 years prior to the earliest diagnosis age in their family.

Survivor and Colon Cancer Awareness Advocate

Suzanne came across the Colon Cancer Foundation (CCF) while she was researching for a marathon to run in New York while raising money for a charity. She reached out to the Foundation and planned to run in the 2020 marathon, but it was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That didn’t dampen Suzanne’s spirit. She completed the marathon in her hometown and raised the money with support from her friends and family members who participated in the run. She looks forward to running again in the 2023 Colon Cancer Challenge.

This past February, as a CCF Champion, Suzanne and her husband were invited to attend the Cologuard Classic in Tucson, Arizona. She represented CCF and was able to meet 90 other like-minded individuals who shared her passion to make a difference and prevent early onset of colon cancer. Inspired to raise money and awareness in her hometown, Suzanne partnered with her husband’s golf club to hold a fundraising golf tournament on May 16, 2022. She was supported in her efforts by her friend, a 10-year colon cancer survivor who also works to spread colorectal cancer awareness. The event had 10 sponsors, 13 teams, and 20 hole sponsors that covered most of the costs. Half of the profits will go to their local nonprofit, CRC Life, and the other half will go to CCF.

Suzanne emphasizes that people need to be more comfortable discussing colon cancer, as they do other topics. Ever since she began raising awareness on social media, Suzanne has received messages from individuals when they received a colonoscopy, got a polyp removed, or discovered they have a family history of colon cancer. Through her experience as a young, healthy woman diagnosed with colon cancer, she brings attention to the fact that cancer does not discriminate. She always tells individuals to remind their friends and family to get a colonoscopy. “Even having one person find out that they do not have cancer is a win,” she says. Suzanne loves that we live in a world where we can speak our mind, while being kind and courteous, and have people that listen and don’t discount the matter at hand. 

 

Kenadi Kaewmanaprasert is an intern with the Colon Cancer Foundation.

If you have someone in your life that you would like to honor while supporting the mission of the Colon Cancer Foundation, consider creating a tribute page. A tribute page either celebrates the life of a colorectal cancer survivor or honors their memory. Tribute pages offer an opportunity to help others fight one of the United States’ deadliest cancers.

You can create a Tribute Page by visiting our Donate and Support section on our website. A Tribute Page is a perfect opportunity to share your loved one’s story and encourage others to get involved in the fight against colorectal cancer. Visitors to the page can pledge support to the Colon Cancer Foundation, which will support colorectal cancer patients and survivors across the nation — unlike flowers of gifts! Our CCF Donation Center will then help you tackle donations by sending you a convenient notification every time someone takes an action on your Tribute Page.

There are various ways that you can create a Tribute Page. First, you can make a Lasting Tribute Page to honor a loved one that was successful in fighting colorectal cancer. You may also create an In Memory or In Honor Tribute Page if your loved one’s life was taken too shortly by colon cancer. For either version, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or call at 914.305.6674 for more information on how to get started.

Finally, you may also choose to make your donation through the mail. If you send a donation in the mail, make sure to include a note with the name of the person you are honoring and an address where you would like the acknowledgment of donation to go. Please address your contribution as:

 

ATTN: Honor/Memorial Gifts

Colon Cancer Foundation

10 Midland Ave, Suite M-06

Port Chester, NY 10573

 

For more information, please contact us at info@coloncancerchallenge.org or call us at 914.305.6674.

 

A recent study has linked past fitness habits and current physical activity to a lower risk of colorectal cancer. The research shows promising insight into more ways that you can lower your personal risk of developing one of the deadliest cancers.

Study participants who had at least an hour of physical activity a day from age 12 to 22 had a lower risk of adenoma by 7%. Adenoma are polyps that are often used as a prerequisite to colon cancer. Those who started having more physical exercise in their adult lives were able to reduce their adenoma by 9%. Participants in the group who maintained activity from their childhood to their adult lives reduced their risk by 24%.

The study shows that it’s never too late to start exercising because it can have a cumulative effect on your health. Start upping the physical activity in your life by walking a few times a week and building up to more rigorous cardiovascular exercise:

  • Swimming
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Rowing
  • Cycling
  • Cross-country skiing

Find an exercise that you enjoy doing and incorporate it into your everyday life to reduce your risk of colon cancer. Your health, and your family, will thank you.

Stayed up-to-date on other colorectal cancer news and research with the Colon Cancer Foundation blog.