admin - March 22, 2012
Country Music musician, singer and songwriter Wade Hayes had a number one hit not too long ago titled “Old Enough to Know Better,” a song that literally takes on new meaning for the handsome singer now that he has been diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. As his manager, Mike Robertson, explains, “You just don’t expect a man in his young 40s, who was perfectly healthy in every other way, to get this kind of diagnosis.”
Hayes, who was just 42 when the discovery was made, comes from a family with no history of gastrointestinal disease. He even thought the bleeding he was experiencing was due to an inflamed hemorrhoid brought on by a strenuous weightlifting session at his gym, and certainly not the result of a tumor that would prove to have metastasized – requiring 70% of his liver and 20 inches of his large intestine to be removed.
Stories such as Wade’s are a big reason March has become Colon Cancer Awareness month. Colorectal cancer, commonly known as colon cancer, is the third leading cause of cancer death in both men & women in the United States. It often has no symptoms until it is highly advanced. The good news is that this deadly disease is also the most preventable form of cancer, since it usually develops slowly over the course of 10 to 15 years from non-cancerous polyps. Colonoscopies can spot and remove these tumors BEFORE they become malignant……but only if a man or woman is living proactively and addressing the possibility of this malady before it is too late. The advent of March as Colon Cancer Awareness Month was designed to get people thinking about this preventable tragedy.
Since 90% of new cases of colon cancer occur in people over the age of 50, the American Cancer Society recommends that both women and men have a colonoscopy every ten years starting at that age, unless they have high risk factors due to a family history for the disease or other gastrointestinal diseases. Greater frequency of the test is recommended in these cases.
Wade Hayes is fighting for his life, but he’s got good friends like Willie Nelson, Kix Brooks, and Jay DeMarcus from Rascal Flatts to cheer him on. Still, it’s a very tough uphill battle – he’s lost 50 pounds and is undergoing chemotherapy and dietary improvements to fight-off the disease. One estimate for the 5-year survival rate of stage IV colon cancer is a scant is 8.1%, while another is only 6%. As Wade himself says about his experience, “If I had caught it early, I wouldn’t be where I am now.”
We wish Wade a true recovery and a return to perfect health and more great songs in the future. And we encourage all our readers within the 50-years+ demographic to get on the ball and schedule your own colonoscopy – it’s so much better than the alternative!
You can learn more about Wade Hayes and his battle with colon cancer by visiting this CNN page.
You can also learn about a new, non-invasive and at-home early detection test for colon cancer, available from Lifeline Screening, by visiting the Colon Cancer Screening Test page on our website.