ORLANDO, Fla. - For WFTV anchor Jorge Estevez, colon health is the fear that runs in the family.
“My paternal grandmother died from colon cancer,” Estevez said. “My mother has a history of polyps. She gets several removed each year for the past 20 years.”
So instead of waiting to undergo his first colonoscopy, Estevez said it was time for some peace of mind – and to raise awareness.
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“We often ignore our health as adults. Many of us focus on our children, our jobs and our lives, but we need to focus on our health so we can be there for our families,” Estevez said.
Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society released new guidelines recommending adults start colon cancer screening at age 45, not 50.
Colon cancer, combined with rectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer death in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. This year, more than 140,000 Americans are expected to be diagnosed with it, and about 50,000 will die from it.
For Estevez, the condition that runs in his family is known as familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP), which is an inherited disorder characterized by cancer of the large intestine and rectum, according to the National Institutes of Health.
“My mother has been after me to check with my doctors,” Estevez said. “And boy was I glad I did.”
Ahead of the Monday morning procedure, Estevez shared photos on social media of his required liquid diet and his preparation.
(Story continues after photos)
Can you guess what’s happening to me? pic.twitter.com/mT7QNkkmqI— Jorge Estevez (@JEstevezWFTV) August 18, 2018
Going for my first COLONOSCOPY on Monday.— Jorge Estevez (@JEstevezWFTV) August 18, 2018
Your best advice? pic.twitter.com/lRXQqLRBhW
Down the hatch!!! Men’s health often goes ignored. We need to talk about it!— Jorge Estevez (@JEstevezWFTV) August 19, 2018
My grandmother died from colon cancer and polyps and complications run in my family. So, I started young with my first colonoscopy which is tomorrow. Thanks for all your well wishes. Any advice? LOL pic.twitter.com/kNoYEFgWUm
“The procedure itself was great,” Estevez said. “You get put in a room, they explain to you what’s going to happen, then they give you some anesthesia and you wake up after a nice nap.”
The results are ready almost as soon as you wake up.
“I had four polyps that are benign so far,” Estevez said. The doctors will do more testing to make sure.
Going in for my procedure. (First Colonoscopy) See you in a few and hopefully at 4pm for Eyewitness News @WFTV Channel 9— Jorge Estevez (@JEstevezWFTV) August 20, 2018
I am hungry!!!
How should I handle lunch?#Dontignoremenshealth pic.twitter.com/4JGg7wde9x
Estevez said the response and support from people on social media accomplished exactly what he hoped it would: A conversation about health.
“I decided to go public with it because it was happening. Anyone who follows me on social media or knows me in real life knows there’s pretty much no topic I won’t talk about. When it comes to health, it makes even more sense to be transparent because, who knows, maybe my post or my story or even this article could get someone else to ask questions about their own health.”
Watch Jorge Estevez weekdays on Eyewitness News at 4 p.m. on WFTV and 10 p.m. on TV 27. Click below to follow Jorge on:
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