Barbara’s Story: Routine Colonoscopy Catches Colon Cancer Early

Barbara Peebles knows the importance of keeping on top of health screenings. After her sister passed from colon cancer in her early 50s, Peebles said her doctor told her to have a colonoscopy every three years.

She did as the doctor said, until just over five years ago, when she waited about a year longer. “I had polyps every time I had a check, and they could remove them,” Peebles recalled. “This particular time, they found cancer. They caught it at stage one by a colonoscopy.”

Peebles asked a family member to help her find a surgeon. She was referred to James Ouellette, DO, a surgeon at Miami Valley Hospital.

While still in the hospital following surgery, she said friends told her they, too, were scheduling their colonoscopies because of her experience. “I thought that was a good thing” to come from her cancer challenge,” she said.

Following recovery, Peebles said she was among the fortunate who did not need to undergo radiation or chemotherapy.

Her last colonoscopy was in the fall. “The doctor said I can go five years” before the next colonoscopy, she said. “This time, for the first time, I didn’t have any polyps.” Peebles said she has continued to see Dr. Ouellette. “I really liked Dr. Ouellette. He’s been great,” she said.

A resident of Otterbein in Lebanon, Peebles has four children and 15 grandchildren. Her husband of 61 years, John Peebles, passed last year. She said she continues to enjoy working with flowers and pursuing other interests.

She advises other people to be diligent and not put off their colonoscopies and to keep their follow up appointments for blood tests and other testing as needed. “Pay attention to your body,” Peebles said. “If you feel something you shouldn’t, definitely have it checked out. Don’t wait.”

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