Local colon cancer survivor shares story for Colon Cancer Awareness Month

Eight years ago Tiffany Hecklinski went through one of the most terrifying experiences of her life. Being diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 37.

Posted: Mar 8, 2019 5:39 PM

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI)- The average age people are urged to get a colonoscopy is fifty years old, but for one woman colon cancer can hit you well before that point in your life.

Eight years ago Tiffany Hecklinski went through one of the most terrifying experiences of her life. Being diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 37.

"I was very what you could call early stage three. So when they took out the tumor they also took out I believe two feet of my colon as well as twenty-three lymph nodes," said Hecklinski.

Even though colon cancer is something you’re urged to look for when you get older. Health experts like Dr. Rajiv Sharma say it's something everyone needs to keep an eye out for, no matter what your age.

"Colon cancer has no symptoms. You just have to be cognizant of your body," said Dr. Sharma.

That's why the month of March Digestive Health Associates in Terre Haute is working harder to promote colon cancer awareness.

The group is not only urging those to get colonoscopy's at an earlier age but adjust your lifestyle to better prevent it.

"Increases fruit and vegetables in your diet. Also losing weight, cutting back on tobacco, alcohol and exercising more. All these things can not only keep polyps gone. But also cut down on the risk of colon cancer," said Sharma.

As for Hecklinski, she just hopes to use her story to inspire others. Doing her best to make sure no one else has to go through what she has.

"I hope there's no family who has to go through what mine went through and that they know that there are places in the Wabash Valley where they can come to get their questions answered," said Hecklinski.

The Digestive Health Associates says there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you are concerned or have questions involving colon health. If you would like to learn more about what services they provide check out their website here.

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