When Scott Wilson took his first colorectal cancer test in his mid-40s, it was negative. Several years later, he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer that physicians believed he had for half a decade. Now, he's trying to make a difference, 5280 reports.
Here's what you should know:
1. Colon cancer ran in Mr. Wilson's family. He started screening in his mid-40s after his mother, 59, died. When his cancer was discovered, it had already multiplied into 10 different malignancies and lesions. He told 5280, "The diagnosis is the worst you'll ever feel. It's like your biggest fear has been realized: You've got cancer. Then, determination and resolve kicks in."
2. Mr. Wilson harnessed his resolve and began advocating for screening and prevention. He sits on the Colorectal Cancer Alliance's young onset advisory board, and with the American Cancer Society's support, he has given several large presentations on colon cancer screening.
3.One effort stands out from the rest. Mr. Wilson published "Through The Window: A Photographic Tale of Cancer Recovery," an 80-page coffee table book of nature photographs. Each photo is paired with a word relating to his recovery.
4. Mr. Wilson's cancer medication made him light-sensitive, but instead of letting that limit him, he purchased a long-range lens and began shooting out of his car.
5. Spending time in nature allowed him to cope with his disease and grow to understand it, leading to the book.
6. Mr. Wilson gives 100 percent of proceeds from the book to the CCA. To date, he has raised $40,000. Mr. Wilson hopes the book will raise awareness on CRC screening.
7. Mr. Wilson's cancer is in remission, but he is still on regular medication. He said to 5280, "There's a phrase now, which is 'cancer for life.' It's almost recognizing that we might just learn to treat and manage cancer rather than completely eliminate it, almost like diabetes."
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