SCRANTON—Lackawanna County Judge Carmen Minora remembers the diagnosis word for word.
“I even remember what he said. He said, ‘You have a signet ring endocarinoma,’ and I said what is that? He said, ‘A signet ring is what it looks like under a microscope. If you didn’t get that out, you’d have been dead in 2 years.’ ”
It was January of 2003 just after the Honorable Judge Minora went for his first ever colonoscopy, expecting to get the news that everything was fine, normal.
But it was not.
He had cancer and needed surgery to survive.
In a move that surprised many, Hon. Minora held a news conference in his courtroom and broke the news.
“After I was diagnosed they did blood studies to look for cancer markings in my blood and thet are all normal. So there’s no other test to detect what I had except a colonoscopy, that’s why I say that’s one test you have to focus on,” said Hon. Minora in 2003.
Minora had surgery days after being diagnosed.
He was back on the bench about 8 weeks later.
Minora has been a judge for 17 years.
Now, he is also a face for cancer awareness in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Men and women, 50 and older should have routine colonoscopies, like Minora did 10 years ago.
It was a procedure that saved his life.
“You know, everything that happened in the last 10 years, you get to watch your kids grow older, you know? All of life’s moments to be there and observe makes it a small price to pay,” said Minora.
He just celebrated his 60th birthday.