Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Faces of Blue: Cathy Hanson

_CathyHanson4IMG_0146When I was 23-years-old I was very ill and did not think I was. While my 2-year-old son and I were visiting my parents they noticed my extreme weight loss and that my skin was turning gray. We knew that I was anemic since about the age of 13-14. My mom took me to the hospital and the doctor looked at me and didn’t hesitate to tell me to go home, pack a bag, and go to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.


I saw my former doctor and she ordered a colonoscopy first thing in the morning. I was diagnosed with colon cancer and underwent a risky surgery. The specialist who did my surgery told my parents that he didn’t know how I was still alive and that I should’ve already passed. I was in ICU for a few days and in the hospital for a few weeks. I had an ostomy bag and did chemo treatments for a year. I did not lose my hair but I do suffer from other side effects to this day. My cancer could have been caught earlier BUT none of the doctors would perform a colonoscopy on me every time my mom requested one because of my AGE!! I was TOO YOUNG!! I can only imagine how much pain and suffering that I, along with my family, would not have gone through if the doctors had done one before I was 23.

Cathy with her family.

Cathy with her family.

For the past 10 years I have been going to routine checkups with my specialist at Wichita Surgical Specialists and continuously have pre-cancerous polyps removed to reduce the risk of my cancer returning. The same polyps that produced my colon cancer are also found in my stomach so I also have a specialist who does stomach procedures to remove the polyps. I saw a third specialist who told my husband and I that it is not if, it is when, that I will have to have a surgery to remove part of my stomach, part of my liver, and part of my pancreas due to polyps. My cancer was formed due to a mutation in my genes that still is a mystery of sorts to my specialist.

My husband, my parents, and I are beyond thankful and blessed for having my specialist who saved my life and continues to keep me cancer free to live my life and watch our kids grow up!

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  • Shannon says:

    Stay strong and positive. You have come this far you can go so much further. 🙂 it’s a hard journey but for those who know what you have gone through and those who love you … know that you do not take this journey alone. Many surround you and walk with you and sometimes carry you. Each day is a blessing. My best to you Shannon

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