Taylor Dayne shares battle with colon cancer: “Be your own warrior”

Taylor Dayne, the singer known for hits like “Tell It to My Heart,” “I’ll Always Love You” and “Love Will Lead You Back,” is stepping back into the spotlight to raise awareness about the importance of routine cancer screenings.

“Life is precious,” Taylor, 60, told ABC’s Good Morning America.  In July, she was diagnosed with colon cancer after a routine colonoscopy, which she has twice a year after past procedures showed benign polyps. This time, doctors discovered a polyp that held an aggressive cancer.

Taylor said her world went “dark” at the word “cancer,” but her doctor reassured her that they’d caught it early, which increases the chance of positive treatment outcomes.

“He never even said the stage,” said Taylor. “All I could do is [think], ‘OK, five months ago, I know there was nothing. So this is early detection.”

While colon cancer is the third most leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society, it’s also highly treatable and curable, if found early through a colonoscopy.

After her diagnosis, Taylor had 10 inches of her colon removed and was declared cancer-free. But she said she experienced a “complication” during recovery, and developed a post-op infection that required her to stay in the hospital for 15 or 20 days — which brought back traumatic childhood memories of suffering from terrible kidney infections.

“This has challenged me mentally, emotionally,” she said. “I am now back in a therapy program.”

The singer wants others — especially women — to talk to their doctors about when they should be screened for things like colon cancer.

“When you’re really sick, you don’t have the energy, you’re really relying on your champions around you, your soldiers, your people,” she said. “Find the doctor that will tell you the truth. Be a warrior for yourself.”

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