Michael Brown was initially diagnosed with stage 3 Colon Cancer in February 2010. He went through six months of chemotherapy with his wife and infant son by his side. Michael had been in remission for almost 4 years. Then in December of 2013, he was diagnosed with stage 4 Colon Cancer. The type of cancer Michael had is called Signet Ring Cell Adenocarcinoma. It is a rare and aggressive type of cancer that affects less than 1% of all Colon Cancer patients. Because of its rarity, this type of cancer is not researched as much as the more common forms of Colon Cancer.
I told [Michael] that the cancer was back yesterday, his response was “Ok, so what is the plan?”
Michael and his wife Angie then had the idea to form a foundation to promote the awareness and funding of signet ring colon cancer research. They formed “The Michael P Brown Colon Cancer Foundation.”
Signet ring cell adenocarcinomas are considered more aggressive than regular adenocarcinomas and are harder to successfully treat. The signet ring cell form is very uncommon and accounts for about 0.1 percent of all adenocarcinomas.
Since it is so uncommon, the foundation was created to help raise money for research toward a disease with little funding. The cancer is so aggressive that getting the word out to help those in need as quickly as possible is a big goal of the foundation. Because Michael has dealt with this before, he wants to share the knowledge he has gathered over the past 4 years. Having two young children, Michael wants to have more research to help with genetic testing since it is in its infancy at the moment. With this testing, he wants to assure that if his boys acquire the same issue, they will reap the benefits of the advances the foundation can help to achieve.
At this point signet ring is treated with the same chemotherapy drugs as other colon cancers. Unfortunately, the results have not been as successful, and so with an increase in research, new ways to treat this cancer can be developed. By researching a subtype of colon cancer, those with a more general colon cancer will also benefit.
Michael had a heart for running, so to meet the goals of the foundation, a 5K run was established, the “Michael’s 5K Run For Life.” A large number of people can solve the most difficult problems in life if they band together. Join us in July and help kick signet ring colon cancer in the butt!