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Get abnormal symptoms checked out

Posted at 6:22 PM, Jul 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-24 19:22:30-04

Latest studies show one in three people will develop cancer in their lifetime.

Nearly every day you'll find Marg Gadd running.

A veteran marathoner, Gadd is now running the race of her life and it all started with minor symptoms.

"My eyes itched a little, my nose ran a little and I thought it was just allergies," Gadd said.

Gadd's nose got stuffier and nasal sprays didn't help.

"Pretty soon I couldn't breathe through that side of my nose at all," Gadd said.

Weeks later, Gadd's nose bled and it wouldn't stop.

That convinced her to see her doctor then a specialist, who scheduled surgery in one day.

"He's crying and tells me I have sinus cancer," Gadd said.

Gadd turned to Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, her former employer, where Doctor Brad Mons prescribed more surgery for her squamous cell carcinoma.

"Any cancer that's caught early has a better prognosis," Dr. Mons said. "There are fewer side effects and improved quality of life."

Dr. Mons says we should pay attention to any symptom that lasts 2-3 weeks:

- Neck Mass
- A sore Throat
- Lumps in the breast
- Blood in the Stools

"If we can discover cancer that is Stage 1 when it's really, really early, and treat it, it's a lot better than when it's a Stage 3 or 4," Dr. Mons said.

Marge had no risk factors for cancer - never smoked, ate right and worked out daily.

Since her first diagnosis, Gadd has enjoyed three years cancer free, but it came back.

Gadd has undergone eight surgeries and 25 radiation treatments.

"All cancers are bad, but you can hide a breast or you can hide your lungs," Gadd said. "But you can't hide this."

Losing her eye has been difficult and her appearance changed forever.

"But you know, I am getting more used to it and I accept that that's the way it's going to be and move on," Gadd said.

For Gadd, this fight with cancer is just one more marathon to conquer.

"I think there are two ways you can look at this sort of this - you can get up or get down," Gadd said. "I didn't choose to get down."

Knowing your body - monitoring your health and acting are vital.

Doctor Mons says we can't ignore symptoms - even subtle ones - and just think they'll go away because cancer doesn't.

He says when it comes to cancer prevention - you are your own best advocate.

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