In 2005, at 41, Anita Mitchell was diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer. She had cancer in her colon that had already metastasized and she had seven tumors on her liver that were too large and too spread out to remove surgically. After her diagnosis Anita underwent surgery, chemotherapy, liver resection surgery and radiofrequency ablation (a technique using a special type of electrical energy (radiofrequency) to heat and kill tumor tissue) to treat her metastatic disease in the liver.
Anita came to the Survivorship Program wishing to enhance her health and well being. During her clinic visit she met with our team of professionals to help her make the most of her life after cancer. As part of her appointment with our Survivorship Program staff, Anita reviewed her past medical consultations and received recommendations to assist in planning for her future. She also worked with a nutritionist who helped her create a way to incorporate more vegetables and other healthy choices into her family's eating plan. Anita looks forward to continuing her active life with her three children and plans to improve her exercise routine. "I left my clinic appointment especially excited about the exercise program offered by the Survivorship Program and the YMCA of Seattle to encourage and promote exercise for cancer survivors. This is an area that almost everyone needs help with!"
Because of her family history, Anita says she now knows she should have been screened when she was in her early 30s. Since her colon cancer diagnosis, Anita has become an advocate for early detection — from knowing one's family history to promoting early screenings for those at risk. In 2007 Anita was featured as part of a calendar used to raise money for colon cancer awareness.