Steven McDaniel of Bennettsville recently found out why it is never too early to receive a colonoscopy.

Steven was one year shy of the recommended age to have his first screening colonoscopy when he noticed blood in his stool. When he mentioned his concern to his primary care provider, Dr, David Howell at Marlboro Family Practice and Urgent Care, Dr. Howell with no hesitation referred him to Dr. Stephen Lanuti at Scotland Surgical and GI.

The holidays were approaching so Dr. Lanuti performed a colonoscopy at Scotland Memorial Hospital on December 14th, with a follow-up visit scheduled for the next day. On December 15th Dr. Lanuti pulled up his chair close to Steven to deliver the life-changing news that Stephen did in fact have colon cancer.   Dr. Lanuti explained to Steven everything he would be facing in the coming months.

Steven says “Dr. Lanuti would have sat with me all day answering my questions. He made sure I didn’t leave his office until all my questions were answered. Having an idea of what you are going to face and what you actually face are two different things.”

Upon leaving Scotland Surgical and GI that day, Stephen’s action plan was in place, He then met with Hope Gibson, Oncology Navigator, at Scotland Cancer Treatment Center.

Hope ensured all his appointments at the Cancer Center were scheduled and would even call to remind him of those appointments.

Following his cancer diagnosed Steven was facing eight weeks of radiation and chemotherapy. Steven originally met with Dr. Kelvin Raybon. And even though Dr. Raybon would not be his oncologist for very long, he took the time to speak with Steven and to make it a smooth transition to his new oncologist, Dr. Linda Sutton. Steven credits this smooth transition to Scotland Cancer Treatment Center being a Duke affiliate. Steven says “I live in Bennettsville, so I’m very glad I can receive high quality cancer care close to home.”

Steven says facing chemotherapy was stressful because he thought he would have to have a port implanted. However, it was a huge relief to find out he would be taking chemo pills instead. Steven is a very active man and was not looking forward to slowing down for colon cancer or its treatment.

As a firefighter, Steven found Scotland Cancer Treatment Center a convenient place to receive the best cancer care.  He receives radiation treatment five days a week at the center, finishing on March 7th. He says, “Dr. Linda Sutton and Dr. Beth Lindsay and the entire staff of Scotland Cancer Treatment Center are wonderful and they’re right here in Laurinburg. I felt from my appointment with Dr. Howell to my last radiation treatment, everything has fallen into place. That’s the kind of facility this is.”

Following his last radiation treatment Steven faces surgery to remove the tumor and will meet with Dr. Lanuti in April to learn what type of surgery he’ll have to undergo.

Steven has a huge support group including his fiancée Kim, who comes to his treatments with him, his five children, three grandchildren, and his brotherhood at the Bennettsville Fire Department. Since his diagnosis, he has learned to take one treatment at a time, one appointment at a time, and one day at a time.

Now a big believer in preventative screenings, Steven urges anyone age 50 or older or those with a family history of colon cancer to have a screening colonoscopy. With no family history of colon cancer he feels his is lucky to have caught colon cancer at an early stage. And thankful to have the resources close by to provide the care he needs.