Colon cancer survivor uses her diagnosis to help others

Amanda Mitchell encouraging health screenings

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A local woman, diagnosed with colon cancer last year, has made it her personal mission to get the word out about prevention.

Amanda Mitchell was diagnosed with the disease last year.

She started feeling pain while she was at work at the Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.

"I had a pain on my side, went to the ER and did a CT scan," she Mitchell. "They ended up finding a little bitty kidney stone and then they also found a big mass."

At 32-years-old, Mitchell was diagnosed Advanced Stage III Colon Cancer, a cancer most people are not even screened for until the age of 50.

And while Mitchell's cancer was not caught in the earliest stages of the disease, the CT scan did catch it at a point where she could still be treated.

Since her diagnosis, Mitchell said she has been working to get the word out about the importance of screenings.

"I know it's not fun, but a colonoscopy can save your life," she said.

Mitchell has undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments, as well as surgery. Because of all the damage from the radiation treatments, she will not be able to have children of her own.

However, she said she's making the most of her life, continuing her work as a nurse and sharing her story of her diagnosis to help others.

"If by telling people my story and going through all this, I can prevent one person from having to go through chemo and radiation and all the surgeries I've been through, then I've done my job," said Mitchell.

"It's made her a better nurse," said Jackie Mitchell, Amanda Mitchell's mother. "She's been strong through the whole ordeal which makes her dad and I strong."

On Thursday, Mitchell's friends and family are planning to host a treatment fundraiser at the San Antonio Professional Firefighters Union Hall from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Mitchell is hoping to have her final surgery this summer.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month.

For a list of recent stories Stephanie Serna has done, click here.


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