HOUSTON — At 49 years old, Keith Rollins thought he had another birthday before he started getting yearly colonoscopies, but a random pain in May 2020 led him to visit his doctor.
“Turned out it was an ingrown hair, but he did a quick exam and found a polyp and said you need to have your colonoscopy," Rollins said about his doctor visit. "You’re 49. The new recommended age is 45. And I said, 'What? I thought it was 50.' He said no, it’s 45.”
Rollins had a colonoscopy where doctors found a mass. That mass was stage 3 cancer.
“We did a surgery," Rollins said. "I had 10 inches of my colon removed.”
After surgery and 12 rounds of chemo, Rollins is now cancer free, but it's something he thinks he could've caught sooner.
“I was just really upset that no one had told me to go and get my colonoscopy at 45," Rollins said.
Through his nonprofit organization called the Push Up Foundation, Rollins is telling men everywhere to "push up" their colonoscopy.
Jacob Brown works with Rollins and he said Rollins' efforts made his colonoscopy a priority. It's a good thing Brown went when he did because doctors found a pre-cancerous polyp on his colon. Fortunately, for him, he can get it removed.
“If I let it linger, it’s going to develop into cancer,” Brown said
The main goal of the Push-Up Foundation is to create awareness and hopefully motivate others to get screened early.
This March, the organization will be hosting its 3rd annual 5K Victory Lap to celebrate the lives that have been saved by colonoscopies -- like Rollins'.
“I could’ve just kicked back and ignored and moved on with my life, but something in me is saying, go get them, go find them, go tell them," Rollins said. 'And that’s what we’re going to try to do for the rest of our lives. Impact as many people as we can.”
For more information about the Push Up Foundation and its efforts, click here.