Dr. Reece Jones deals with cancer every day. Although no one wants to find out they have a form of the disease, Jones says the key to fighting and beating cancer is early detection.
"And I can tell you that, even if something abnormal is found, it's much better to have surgery then and have it removed and be cured of the disease, than finding it two years later when it has already spread to the liver or the lungs and it's not a curable disease," Jones said.
It is also important to know when to start screening for different types of cancer. Jones says to always be aware of any changes to your body, but he also says regular screening by a physician becomes necessary for everyone at a certain point.
"Breast cancer, the easy answer is mammograms yearly starting at least by the age of 50," said Jones. "I advocate starting at the age of 40. Colonoscopies, at least by the age of 50; earlier if there is a strong family history. Same thing with prostate cancer PSA screening and regular digital rectal exams through your primary care physician or through one of our local urologists, have been found to decrease mortality associated with those malignancies."
It can be unnerving to undergo tests for a disease that can be life- threatening, but Jones says it is always better to find out sooner than later.
"We can diagnose people earlier with these diseases that if not found early enough can be and often times are fatal," he said.
Cancer treatment has come a long way. But Jones stresses that doctors can't help patients until they walk in the door.
Four members of the WTOK staff are running in the Mardi Gras Marathon in New Orleans in February to raise awareness and funds for the Anderson Cancer Center Patient Benevolence Fund.
The fund helps patients with expenses that aren't covered by insurance.
You may make a donation to the effort by mailing a check to:
Anderson Cancer Center
John & Friends Benevolence Fund Donation
1704 23rd Avenue
Meridian, MS 39301