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Colonoscopy Saves Patient’s Life

February 2011 – At 68 years old, Clinton Hall did not see a reason to get screened for colon cancer. After all, he had already survived a heart attack. The St. Peters, Mo., native lived an active lifestyle that included his favorite family activity, bowling. And there was no history of colon cancer in his family. He had a full life with his three children, five grandchildren and wife of 42 years, Audrey.

“I didn’t think it could happen to me,” Hall says. “I was physically healthy.”
When his physician recommended a colonoscopy at one of his routine appointments, Hall was inquisitive about the procedure but did not make an appointment. Everything changed when a drop of blood was discovered during an exam just six months later. This time, Hall sprung into action. The diagnosis was colon cancer.

Now glad he had gotten the colonoscopy, Hall wanted his cancer treated and gone. The discovery of one cancerous polyp led to chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery at the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish St. Peters Hospital.

Keeping his positive attitude, Hall visited Siteman a few times each week for his chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

While there, he observed how friendly and helpful the staff was with patients and families. It was during this time that Hall had an epiphany about his colon cancer screening. Had he not received regular physical exams or the colonoscopy, his cancer would have progressed and become worse. “I couldn’t imagine the cancer being worse and not knowing about it and not treating it,” he says.

Cancer was once the farthest thing from Hall’s mind. Now, he thinks about it every day. Fortunately, his cancer is in remission. He’s back to bowling with a renewed appreciation for family and health. He offers sound advice about the value of cancer screenings: “Have yourself checked because you never know.”