Fitness advocate now sounds call for colon cancer screening

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Thursday, March 3, 2016

SEWELL, N.J. (WPVI) -- For the past few years, Peg Bradford of Sewell, N.J., has championed exercise and sensible eating as the gateways to a healthy life.

Her Facebook community, Steps to Good Health, includes 20,000 people around the country.

After a recent scare, Bradford is adding another element to her health message - colon cancer screening.

Bradford, who just turned 50, said she knew she should start colonoscopies earlier, because of her family history.

She lost her grandfather to the disease.

However, like many people, she put it off, despite urgings from relatives and friends.

Recently, she got that colonoscopy, and to her surprise, 4 polyps were found.

Only a small percentage of polyps become cancerous.

But the more there are, the greater the chance they'll become malignant.

And the family history adds further concern.

Bradford's doctor removed 3 of them with the scope; however, the fourth had an unusual structure which complicated removal on-the-spot.

She was referred to a Penn Medicine specialist, for a second colonoscopy, which eliminated the polyp.

Bradford now says the test she was so wary of was "no big deal."

She says the prep was "no big deal either,", and the colonoscopy itself is very brief.

And besides, "You're out!" she told Action News, referring to the sedation patients have during the procedure.

She now wants her Facebook followers to do their part to fight colon cancer.

Bradford's "Steps to Good Health" has served as a 24/7 support platform for those struggling with their weight.

She hopes they'll be talking about colon cancer, and other important screenings, too.

"It's all about taking charge of your health," says Bradford.

To learn more about colon cancer, and your risk, go to the American Cancer Society.

Connect to Bradford's Steps to Good Health here.