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Men’s Health Focus: Polyps Invaded Bill’s Colon, but Early Detection Saved His Life

By Laura Eberhard | December 1, 2014 | Careers & Culture, Employee Spotlights, Health Conditions

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Movember might be over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop talking about men’s health issues. If you didn’t catch our first post about Matt DiPierro’s inspiring story about his brother’s fight against testicular cancer, you need to check it out.

Today we’re talking about Bill Rowland, and his close encounter with polyps.

When in good health, the human colon is actually kind of pretty –refreshingly rosy, ready to round up toxins passing through the body.

So, if you ever see Bill Rowland around town, you can exclaim, “My, what a pretty colon you have, Bill!” He won’t mind. That’s because at one time, a gang of insidious polyps almost ruined it for good.

Bill during Movember 2013.
Bill during Movember 2013.

“The doctor told me I was easily within a year of having full-blown cancer,” says Bill, a lead web developer here at BCBSNC.

Bill was 52 years old when he got that news. Despite a family history of cancer, he had been putting off his health and a colonoscopy for years, he says, until a friend, who just happened to be a nurse, took Bill’s health into her own hands.

“She didn’t argue with me, she didn’t tell me how important it was and that I owed it to my son,” says Bill. “She picked up the phone and made an appointment for me.”

Twelve months later, Bill got the news that his colon is nice and rosy after having those precancerous polyps removed, and his doctor still likes to joke, “You owe your friend your life.” But to Bill it’s no joke, because without that extra push, his prognosis may have been completely different. That’s why he’s taking the time to speak out and grow a Mo again this year.

“We all know we may look a little silly, but it’s good camaraderie and a good way to get the word out and raise some money for research,” says Bill. “Hopefully this will be the push some people need to get checked out themselves.”

[Top image: Shutterstock]