The routine screening that changed my life: Tee’s story

17 March 2023

Rev. Dr. Timothy “Tee” Boddie knows the power of health screenings firsthand. This is the story of Tee, an ordained Baptist minister and well-respected member of his community, and the routine screening that saved his life.

Colorectal cancer screening saves lives—even if you have no symptoms

People 45 and older should receive colorectal cancer screening, according to the American Cancer Society and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If caught early, 90% of colon cancer is survivable, making early detection key.

At a routine health screening when Tee was 49 years old, his doctor suggested a fecal screening test to screen for signs of colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screening tests like the one Tee took involve collecting a stool sample—either at a doctor’s office or with an at-home collection kit—and sending it in to be analyzed.

To Tee’s surprise, the screening revealed hidden blood in his stool, and the follow-up colonoscopy revealed a golf ball-sized growth in his colon.

“I didn’t have a family history with colon cancer and didn’t see any issues when I used the bathroom, so I didn’t think I had anything to worry about,” Tee says.

Most people with colon cancer don’t experience symptoms early on. Colorectal cancer develops from abnormal growths (called precancerous polyps) in your colon or rectum, and you may or may not be able to see the bleeding caused when these polyps are agitated.

Early detection is the key to preventing colorectal cancer

“My doctor said that if we had not found the polyp, it could have turned into cancer and may have even become malignant,” he says. When it comes to preventing chronic illnesses like cancer, the greatest tool we have is early detection through screening and testing.

And the numbers don’t lie: catching colon cancer early gives you a survival chance of 91%, and catching rectal cancer early brings your survival chances to 90%.

“I have no doubt that colon cancer screening saved my life,” Tee says.

By catching and removing the polyp before it had a chance to turn malignant, Tee greatly improved his chances to live a longer, healthier life. And it all began when his doctor recommended an important health screening based on his age and background.

“As a Black man,” Tee says, “I know I am at risk for any number of diseases, including colon cancer and prostate cancer.” By being proactive and following his trusted doctor’s expertise, he has clearly demonstrated the power of preventive medicine.

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Staying healthy by staying informed

“I have no doubt that colon cancer screening saved my life,” Tee says.

Now, he is focused on using his story to encourage others to get tested and screened early for life-threatening diseases like colorectal cancer. Something he also mentions often is how he’s glad he listened to his doctor—this is another vital part of preventive medicine. Finding a trusted healthcare provider—even if you’re not insured—can help give you the guidance and support you need to start living your healthiest life.

Labcorp is your trusted partner in preventive medicine—join us in advocating for early screening and preventive medicine. Together, we can help improve health and improve lives.

Check out these related links to learn more about:


• Colon cancer screening