ALBANY, N.Y.(NEWS10) – Buildings throughout New York were lit up in a hue of blue to shine a light on Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. The Governor’s office issuing a proclamation on Sunday.
The American Cancer Society says that colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the country. Affecting one out of 23 men and one out of 26 women.
Capital Region man Jonny Puglia has been battling the cancer for 5 years.
“I got diagnosed at 30 so and that’s pretty alarming for colorectal cancer because you don’t think of it that way we think of it as an older person disease,” said Puglia.
In 2021 the age for a colonoscopy was lowered from 50 to 45 in an effort of early detection.
At a time when most young folks are beginning life, Puglia says cancer victims like himself have other things to live for.
““You’re 30 years old and all the other friends are buying houses, getting relationships, getting married going on vacations, and you’re stuck in a chemo chair,” said Puglia.
Puglia was diagnosed in 2018, years after he first sought help from several different doctors.
“They were saying I was too young; it was diet and they went against me”
He also feels a couple of tweaks to the healthcare system would be beneficial in the battle against cancer and preventing late-stage diagnosis.
“[A] script for colonoscopy, maybe doing a less invasive stool sample test to see if you have any characteristics for colon cancer. That would be fantastic,” said Puglia.
When asked how seeing the lit buildings made him feel, he said, “It’s overwhelming. I was walking over here from my home and saw the Corning Tower lit up and thought to myself, it’s about time”.