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  • LA Tenorio Asks For Privacy As He Battles Colon Cancer 'For My Children's Well-Being'

    The PBA's "Ironman" and his wife have four children.
    by Jocelyn Valle .
LA Tenorio Asks For Privacy As He Battles Colon Cancer 'For My Children's Well-Being'
PHOTO BY Instagram/la_tenorio
  • When LA Tenorio announced on Tuesday that he's been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer, he also asked for privacy for the sake of his children's well-being. The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) standout and his wife Chesca Bugia Tenorio have four kids: Santi, almost 11; Sian, 9; Lucas, 6; and Reese, 2.

    "The initial testing three weeks ago led me to instantly miss practices and games," LA said in his official statement posted on PBA's website on March 21, 2023. "I have completed my surgery last week and will soon undergo treatment for the next few months."

    The 39-year-old who plays guard for the Barangay Ginebra team added, "I have given not only 17 full years to the PBA, but have dedicated my whole life to basketball. I have committed my body and health for the love of the game. It has been my passion and love. Sadly, there are things beyond one's control.

    "But with my FAITH, I am lifting everything to God now and I believe there is a higher purpose as I go through this part of my life. I am not yet retiring from the game I love, and with the help of the best doctors in the Philippines and Singapore, I BELIEVE I can touch a basketball once more and return stronger."

    LA went on thanking the people who have been a great help to him, saying that he's been "truly blessed to be part of the San Miguel Family." It is the food and beverage conglomerate that owns majority of the company behind his team, Ginebra.


    He singled out in his gratitude list his bosses: San Miguel Corporation's top honcho Ramon See Ang (RSA) and Barangay Ginebra's team manager Alfrancis Chua.

    LA ended his official statement with a request: "Lastly, to all, as much as I greatly appreciate everyone's well-wishes and messages of support and prayers - for my children's well-being, in this social media and internet era, I am humbly asking everyone's respect for my family to go through this journey privately and discreetly as much as possible.

    "Together with my family and loved ones, you are all my strength, inspiration and what drives me to be the best person I can ever be, physically, mentally, and spiritually. I will see everyone very, very soon. Thank you and God bless."

    What you need to know about colon cancer

    Colon cancer is the third most common type of cancer among Filipino men and the fourth among women, according to the Department of Health (DOH)'s Philippine Cancer Program. The agency also says four Filipinos die of cancer every hour or around 96 cancer patients per day.

    The exact cause of colon cancer is not yet known, or why polyps grow in the colon's inner lining. But risk factors, according to Cleveland Clinic, include having inherited conditions and a family history of colon and other kinds of cancers. Lifestyle choices may also increase the risk for developing this disease. Examples are smoking, excessive alcohol use, having obesity, consuming lots of red meat and processed meat, and not exercising.

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    Those who are diagnosed with colon cancer do not often experience any signs or symptoms associated with the disease, according to the Colon Cancer Coalition in the United States.

    That may explain why young adults, like 39-year-old LA Tenorio, are more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage colon or rectal cancer. They are under the recommended screening age using colonoscopy, which is above 50 years old.

    No wonder then that, according to the Colon Cancer Coalition, the incidence of colorectal cancer is increasing among adults under age 50 while rates of colorectal cancer have been declining among adults 50 years and older.

    In 2020, the organization estimates the U.S. have about 18,000 cases of colorectal cancer diagnosed in people under 50, the equivalent of 49 new cases per day.

    Here are some common symptoms of color colon listed by Mayo Clinic:

    • A persistent change in bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of stool
    • Rectal bleeding or blood in the stool
    • Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
    • A feeling that bowel doesn't empty completely
    • Weakness or fatigue
    • Unexplained weight loss

    Treatment for colon cancer depends on its extent, or stage, as well as other factors, according to the American Cancer Society. In LA Tenorio's case, for instance, Stage 3 cancers have "spread to nearby lymph nodes, but they have not yet spread to other parts of the body."

    Surgery is commonly performed to remove the section of the colon with the cancer, which is called partial colectomy. Also up for removal are the affected lymph nodes. This is then followed by adjuvant chemo, the standard treatment for this stage.


    Read here are important remiders to parents by a cancer-stricken father.

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