CBS Sports on-course golf reporter Peter Kostis has been a fixture on the golf scene for decades. As a longtime analyst, commentator and world-renowned instructor, Kostis has become a household name for golf fans across the globe. But there’s something even greater that this accomplished reporter can add to his lengthy résumé: colon cancer survivor.
Like most colon cancer patients, Kostis had no family history of the disease. He and his wife, Sandy, had been diligent about undergoing their colonoscopies every five years since the age of 50. So, when Sandy scheduled her colonoscopy in March of 2013, she suggested that her husband schedule his procedure for the same time. Kostis wasn’t due for his colonoscopy for several more months, but he scheduled it anyway. This turned out to be a life-saving decision.
Kostis’ colonoscopy results showed malignant colon polyps, which required a six-hour surgery to remove a foot and a half of his colon. After a six-week recovery period, Kostis was in for more bad news. The cancer had spread to his lymph nodes, and he was now considered Stage III.
For the next seven months, Kostis completed chemotherapy every two weeks. Side effects included neuropathy in his hands and a 35-pound weight gain. At one point, his white blood cell count dropped so low, he had to forego a month of treatment.
For several months, Kostis chose not to share his condition with the general public. But a statement from a fellow sports analyst would eventually change his mind. John Kruk, former Major League Baseball player and current baseball analyst for ESPN, had spoken openly about his battle with testicular cancer in the 1990s. Kruk said his story had inspired others to get checked for testicular cancer, and in some cases, it led to a diagnosis. It was then that Kostis realized he could help others in the same way by sharing his story.
Since disclosing his battle with colon cancer in June of 2013, Kostis has encountered 18 people who say they or a loved one were diagnosed with colon cancer after his story inspired them to get a colonoscopy. Kostis hopes his diagnosis will continue to encourage others to begin routine colon cancer screening (Source: The Palm Beach Post).
Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer diagnosis in the United States. It is both preventable and treatable with routine colonoscopy screenings. If you or a loved one are over the age of 50 and have not undergone a colonoscopy, find a center near you and schedule your appointment today.