LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month is in full swing to raise awareness of the importance of getting screened and tested. One Arkansas woman is sharing her own story of survival.

Colorectal cancer is one of the only forms of cancer that is preventable and has more than a 90 percent survival rate if caught early.

Heather Tucker was diagnosed with rectal cancer in 2017, five years after she had her first symptoms. After seeing countless doctors, she finally was screened then tested only to find out she was already stage two. While she beat cancer one year later, she says she still deals with the consequences.

“It changes your life drastically from what you can eat to how you live your life and I deal with many side effects,” Tucker said.

Tucker said she is thankful to celebrate every birthday and every milestone but knows many others who weren’t able to beat it including her friend Walter.

“He passed away last year at the age of 42 leaving behind a loving wife, children, grandchildren and it’s too young,” Tucker said.

Tucker said it’s never too early to look out for major changes in bowel habits, narrowing of stools or blood in your stool. If you notice these changes, contact your doctor to be screened.