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“Life After Total Proctocolectomy in Lynch Syndrome” - Interview with Danielle Ripley-Burgess

Updated: Apr 15

Megha Ranganathan, MS, CGC - Chair, CGA-IGC Communications Committee

“I didn’t realize until after I got [the proctocolectomy] how much stress I carried…When I got through it, the relief that I will never hear ‘I have colorectal cancer’ ever again was something I didn’t anticipate before surgery, but my goodness, it is huge.”

This episode, hosted by Dr. Thomas Slavin, a Chief Medical Officer at HALO Precision Diagnostics™, and Emma Keel,

a Genetic Counselor at the University of Chicago, features Danielle Ripley-Burgess, a three-time colorectal cancer survivor with Lynch syndrome. Danielle is an award-winning communications professional and author of several books. She regularly blogs and speaks about her experiences as a cancer survivor. She serves as the chief storyteller at Fight CRC.

In this episode, Danielle discusses her experiences undergoing three different colorectal surgeries, the first at age 17, in addition to a prophylactic hysterectomy at age 28. She recounts how she ultimately decided to undergo a proctocolectomy with a permanent ostomy, what she did to prepare herself for the surgery, and her advice for others who may be considering this procedure.

Danielle also describes the emotional impact of a cancer diagnosis and major surgery, stating that “this is a trauma…that word is not used enough in the cancer world.” She reminds patients that “cancer is just as much of an emotional thing as it is a physical thing” and emphasizes the importance of therapy and taking care of both one’s physical and mental health in the fight against cancer.

Listen to the episode here

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