Even though there's no history of colorectal cancer in her family, Nova Scotia native Judy Robertson was diagnosed with the disease at age 50.
"I have always been active and led a healthy lifestyle but for a while had been feeling sluggish, not quite myself," says Judy. "I had become anemic and knew that there were changes with my body but I could always find some explanation for why they were happening. I later discovered that becoming anemic for no apparent reason is very telling and can be a symptom of colorectal cancer."
Judy decided to visit her doctor and learned she had cancer. Luckily, she is now cancer-free and uses her experience to work with the Canadian Cancer Society to spread the message about the importance of early detection. She also helped the Society advocate for the at-home colorectal screening kit, which is now mailed to all Nova Scotians between the ages of 50 and 74.
The Society's advocacy work played a role in the launch of Nova Scotia's Colon Cancer Prevention Program in 2011. For colorectal cancer, earlier detection can mean a more effective treatment.
Learn more about volunteer advocacy opportunities where you live.