The beautiful redhead in this picture is my mother, Cecilia (yes, that's six-year-old Yours Truly on her lap!). This photo was taken at Christmas time in 1966. Ten years later, my Mom was dead, due to complications from colon cancer. This makes March being Colon Cancer Awareness Month very personal to me!

Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that is completely treatable, but only if caught early. Unfortunately, my Mom didn't recognize the symptoms until it was too late. Her first surgery to remove the cancerous area of her colon was in the early-summer of 1976. Sadly, by the time of that procedure, the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and other areas of her body. She died on December 18th, 1976. Even though the colonoscopy procedure had been first used in 1969, it hadn't become wide-spread in the medical community by the time my mother's condition was diagnosed. If it had been--and if she had been more aware of the need for such screenings--she might have survived.

If you are 50 or older, you need to have this vital screening done. Because of my family history of colon cancer, it was suggested to me by my doctor in my then-hometown of Nashville that I needed to start having regular colonoscopies starting in my 40's. I have undergone three of these screenings; the results of the first was no pre-cancerous polyps were found. I was told to have another in 5 years, which I did. That one resulted in a small, match head-sized polyp being found and removed. This required me to have another screening done in three years, which is that last one I've had up to now. The results showed no polyps. I will be due for another colonoscopy pretty soon...probably sometime this year.

Please don't put off having this vital test procedure done! To find our more, CLICK HERE for the Colon Cancer Alliance website. There, you'll find the latest information on the prevention, detection and treatment of colon cancer.

If my Mom was still here, she'd tell you: "Get screened!"