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    As the World Turns - NEWS ROOM

    In our 'As The World Turns' News Room, Soaps.com keeps you up-to-date with the latest Soap Opera news on the net. We also feature interviews with the soap stars, as well as local appearances by the actors and actresses.

    Colleen Zenk Pinter battles cancer scare

    Thursday, October 25 2007


    Colleen Zenk Pinter battled cancer. (CBS.com)
    For several weeks, Soaps.com has been receiving questions from fans wondering about Colleen Zenk Pinter's, Barbara's, speech. In the last few months, Colleen has spoken with a lisp. This morning on the CBS Early Show, Colleen talked about her changing speech patterns because of a cancer scare!

    About seven months ago, Colleen says she discovered a canker sore in her mouth. That canker went away but other canker sores continued to come back so she saw her doctor. The next day a specialist told her it was stage-two oral cancer. She underwent three surgeries and had part of her tongue removed and reconstructed. Colleen also had radio-active beads inserted into her tongue to battle the disease, but doctors say she is cancer-free now.


    Colleen with co-stars Jennifer Landon and Cady McClain (Soaps.com)
    "I want to thank the fans for the love and support they have sent my way these past months. You will never know how much your kind words and encouragement have meant to me," said Colleen in a statement. "Today I am cancer-free,but my disease is with me every second of every day. My tongue is hard, lumpy, laced with scar tissue and often covered with painful blisters. It affects my speech, how I eat, how I drink and how I kiss my husband. Yet, I am lucky. My cancer was Stage II when diagnosed. I had one of the country's best cancer teams to surgically remove the tumor and surrounding tissues, and reconstruct what remained of my tongue so that I can lead a relatively normal life. If I had only known. Early detection is as easy as a trip to the dentist - a five minute exam and you don't even have to take your clothes off - and vital in preventing
    this under-the-radar, ruthless cancer," she went on to say.

    The only lingering effect for Colleen is the lisp that fans have been asking about.

    Here is a little information about oral cancer: it kills more people each year than cervical cancer, skin cancer or prostate cancer. The disease has been occurring in more women and recently doctors were able to link the cancer to the same HPV virus that is associated with cervical cancer. The cancer is also linked to the use of tobacco and alcohol products. Doctors say that 37,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year in the United States. When the cancer is found early, as in Colleen's case, there is an 80% to 90% survival rate.

    Colleen was very lucky. She lost part of her tongue but other patients who have had oral cancer have lost portions of their jaws, which makes even denture wearing hard. Some patients have lost their ability to properly chew and swallow and in some cases have lost the ability to speak clearly. You can learn more about the disease by visiting the Oral Cancer Foundation here.

    Soaps.com is very glad that Colleen has beaten this cancer diagnosis. If you would like to contact Colleen, you can do so through As The World Turns by clicking here.


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    USER COMMENTS

    Posted by dafyduc at Thursday, October 25 2007 02:37 PM

    God bless you colleen. we are all praying for you.

    Posted by Keaton at Friday, October 26 2007 04:34 AM

    Colleen, I am so happy that you are cancer free now. Thank you for informing the public about the screenings. You are a wonderful actress.

    Posted by dwebster at Friday, October 26 2007 12:47 PM

    Colleen - I also am very happy you are cancer free. I didn't even know such a cancer existed.

    You are one of my favorites who I love to hate. That means you are doing your job and doing it well.

    Posted by Wapite at Friday, October 26 2007 04:48 PM

    Colleen, thank God you found it in time. I survived Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer 20 yrs. ogo, so I am truly a walking miracle. God is gracious! PS. I did not notice the list at all (& I have exceptionally good hearing!) Good job!
    Ginny

    Posted by baby doxies at Friday, October 26 2007 05:45 PM

    The last few weeks it has been less noticable BUT I couldn't care either way. You are a wonderful, gorgeous, & talented women. I am always thrilled when you are on screen so for me it was never a problem. I am so pleased that you are doing well & back at work. God bless you & your future!!

    Posted by Keaton at Friday, October 26 2007 08:49 PM

    Wapite
    I noticed your post to Colleen. How wonderful that you survived stage 3 ovarian cancer! That is a horrible cancer that is so hard to diagnose. Women should always ask their doctors about this testing when they have their check-ups. My sister is a 5 year survivor of ovarian cancer. She was stage 1A Grade 3. That is why your post stood out to me.

    Posted by joanie65 at Saturday, October 27 2007 10:35 AM

    At the age of 53 my father also had cancer of the tongue, he had his tongue removed and his glands, doctors said he would never talk or eat solid foods again, he fooled them all and lived for 18 yrs., talking and eating. Strength, determination and love works. Sounds like you have all 3 of these and I hope you always have a sense of humor. My Dad always said no matter what the problem, you must keep your sense of humor. Good luck and I will be praying for you. Joan

    Posted by lakegirl at Monday, October 29 2007 12:37 PM

    yes, yes, bring Larry Bregman back as John, he and Lucinda were wonderful, even if he is doing other things he might find the time to do some ATWT. It would also be nice to have Andy, Kims son back and Jennifer and Chris, I really miss the Hughes family, it seems most of the new characters you now have on are just hateful people, even the major ones, it use to be only the ones who were on temperarly were scary. now its Carley, Rosanna, Craig, and Paul. I can do without their sneakieness

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