Cleveland councilman using cancer scare to educate others

Posted at 6:24 AM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 07:00:52-04

It’s the third most common cancer in the U.S. for both men and women, the second leading cause of cancer death, and it found it’s way to Cleveland City Councilman Kevin Conwell and when it did he says for a moment life stopped.

“The only thing that you see, you get a big flash and you see family, friends and what you're passionate about,” he said. Those were the very things he says kept him fighting, colon cancer.

“I was shocked," he said.

His story is like many males specifically in the African American community who are diagnosed at nearly stage four with colon cancer, a known health disparity.

“Socioeconomic status plays a huge role, so that's one, and second, access to care,” said Dr. Jame Abraham, Cancer Community Outreach Medical Director for the Cleveland Clinic. In the American Cancer Society's New 2016-2018 report, they found the incidence rates are still higher in black males than whites.

"Almost 25 percent higher than compared to other ethnic groups.” said Dr. Abraham.

Now in remission, Councilman Conwell says he wants to help others move past their fears to get the help they need...

“It's the fear, it's the fear of of a colonoscopy, the prep is not bad, I'll tell you what though, cancer is worse," he said.

March is colon cancer awareness month and with that in mind, Councilman Conwell is holding an information meeting tonight 6 p.m. at the Martin DeParres Family Center on East 123 Street.