Local physicians raise awareness of colon cancer in book ‘Got Guts?’

Authors Nancy Cetel, MD, Joseph Weiss, MD, Danielle Weiss, MD

Longtime Rancho Santa Fe residents and physicians Joseph Weiss and Nancy Cetel, along with their daughter, physician Danielle Weiss, have created “a very user-friendly guide to colon cancer awareness.”

“The tragedy is that colon cancer is one of the most common cancers,” said Joseph, a gastroenterologist, author of numerous books, speaker and professor on the faculty of University of California School of Medicine. “It often has no warning, no signs, no symptoms until too late.”

The cover of "Got Guts? A Guide to Prevent & Beat Colon Cancer"

The three of them released a book called “Got Guts? A Guide to Prevent & Beat Colon Cancer.” A summary on states that in this book readers will learn how their diet, weight, family history, gender, and other significant factors contribute to their potential risk. The books shares that the options for screening range from one-minute painless and inexpensive tests, to the more involved invasive colonoscopy tests that require sedation or anesthesia. The book helps readers understand the options available, and how to select wisely based on their personal risk factors.

“It literally can be a life-saving investment,” Joseph said.

He added that the inspiration for the book came from a longtime family friend, a fit, health-conscious woman who died relatively young months after a sudden colon cancer diagnosis.

“There was no warning, no sign, no symptoms,” he said.

The recent death of “Black Panther” star Chadwick Boseman, who succumbed to colon cancer at age 43, also underscored the insidious nature of the disease and how it can strike people in the prime of their lives.

According to the American Cancer Society, there were more than 100,000 cases of colon cancer and more than 40,000 cases of rectal cancer in the U.S. over the past year. The rate has dropped over the last few decades due to more people getting screened and becoming more aware of diet- and lifestyle-related preventative measures. But while the rate that people are diagnosed with colon cancer in the U.S. is dropping among people 65 and older, it is rising in younger age groups, according to American Cancer Society research.

Part of the purpose of “Got Guts?” is to impress upon people that colon cancer can be relatively easy to treat when it’s caught early enough, which requires screenings.

“I see a lot of patients who have put off colon cancer screening,” said Danielle, an integrative endocrinologist who is on the clinical faculty of University of California, San Diego School of Medicine. “This is one of the things you can do from the comfort of your own home, so there’s absolutely no reason to put it off.”

The three used cartoons and humor to add a touch of levity to an otherwise difficult subject for many people to talk about.

“When you talk to women, and also certain segments of society, anything that has to do with bowels, colon, rectum, is kind of a taboo subject,” said Nancy, a women’s health specialist, speaker and author who previously released a book, Double Menopause, about female and male menopause.

“Even with a colonoscopy, colon cancer can be more easily missed,” she continued. “That’s why we’re trying to get the word out that there are easier ways, safer ways to have screenings.”

“Got Guts? A Guide to Prevent & Beat Colon Cancer” is available on Amazon. For more information about the book and the authors, visit and