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Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month: William’s Survivor Story

March 31, 2021

William Cuomo, a 74-year old colorectal cancer survivor, credits being alive today thanks to his care team at Day Kimball Healthcare.

In early 2020, the Brooklyn resident learned he had colorectal cancer after noticing some blood in his stool.

At the onset of his symptoms, William went to Day Kimball where gastroenterologist, Dr. Moy, performed a diagnostic colonoscopy, an endoscopic examination of the large bowel using a camera attached to a flexible tube inserted through the rectum. The colonoscopy revealed a tumor growing inside his rectum. He was surprised as he did not have a family history of the disease.

From his previous experience, William knew that Day Kimball was the best place to receive cancer treatment. “I’ve always liked Day Kimball and try to receive all of my medical care there,” he said.

Throughout his cancer treatment, William was struck by the expertise, confidence and compassion of his care team, led by board-certified general and colorectal surgeon, Carlos Morales, M.D. “As soon as I started treatment with Dr. Morales and the staff at Day Kimball, I knew that I was in expert hands and was receiving the best treatments,” he said.

William’s cancer treatment included 5 weeks of chemotherapy and radiation followed by a successful minimally invasive surgery to remove his stage 3 rectal cancer. During a minimally invasive surgical procedure, the surgeon makes smaller incisions and uses small instruments. This allows patients to have a quicker recovery time, shorter hospital stay, and less pain than traditional open surgery, but with the same benefits.

“Colorectal cancer can often be cured if detected early,” said Dr. Morales. “I’m so glad William’s case was detected early and we could work together to treat it.”

Nearly a year after his diagnosis, William is in complete remission. Today, he is enjoying retirement and continues to focus on his blessings – his daughter, 3 granddaughters, and great grandson. He remains grateful that his cancer was caught when it was and encourages others to get their colonoscopies as scheduled.

Because cancer doesn’t always cause symptoms in the early stages, screening tests are very important. Most people should begin screening for colon cancer at age 45. If you have risk factors, talk with your doctor about starting screening earlier.

If you experience any of the following symptoms of colon cancer, make an appointment to see your doctor for evaluation:

  • A change in bowel habits — for example, diarrhea or constipation
  • A change in the size of your stool — (if it becomes pencil-thin)
  • Blood in your stool, or rectal bleeding
  • Dark stool (black)
  • Abdominal discomfort, such as pain or cramping
  • The sensation that you need to have a bowel movement, even after you have had one
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Weakness or feeling tired

Areas of Related Interest

Surgical Care | Colorectal Surgery at Day Kimball Hospital
Specialty Care | Colonoscopy
Doris E. Madeira Endoscopy Suite at Day Kimball Hospital's ACU

 

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