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Pensacola police officer hopes to bring more awareness after his battle with cancer

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Cancer has touched many of our lives in one way or another, and for one Pensacola police officer, it was his job that helped him through the fight of his life.

Captain Stephan Davis has worked for the Pensacola Police Department for 28 years.

It’s a challenging job, but his biggest challenge came in January 2017. That's when Davis heard the word that no one is prepared to hear: cancer.

" [I was] Eating lunch one day and I got a sharp pain in my side and it continued for a while, and I went to the doctor and he recommended a colonoscopy. Did that… and that's when they found a tumor in my colon,” said Davis.

Captain Davis was diagnosed with stage 3A colon cancer. He had surgery to remove the tumor, chemotherapy, and radiation. He says finding out early saved him.

"Early detection is key. Go get a colonoscopy. If you have that pain, go to the doctor. Don't wait. Don't think it's gonna go away. If it does, great- but what if it doesn't?” said Davis.

For months Davis was in and out of the office. He had bad days and good days, but Davis said It was his profession that helped him overcome his hardest moments.

"I think cops are more resilient maybe than most people in that we do deal with so much catastrophe and tragedy in our careers. That when something strikes your personal life it doesn't affect us quite as much as other people,” said Davis.

He knew his work was not over.

"The job still has to get done so I still have to come back here and get this job done regardless of a cancer diagnosis. We're going to ensure that regardless of cancer,” Davis told Channel 3.

Davis said that during his rough days, his wife remained by his side as well as his law enforcement family. He learned that several other fellow officers had also been through the same fight of their lives.

"It’s great having people around us that you know that will support you no matter what, but having other cancer survivors and cancer patients- they get it," said Davis, adding, "Even regardless of rank around here, we all have a certain bond now. We understand bad days- what they look like, what they mean. It's brought us closer together."

Captain Davis said he still has his weekly treatments as doctors keep an eye on other tumors, but he remains optimistic.

“The cancer is not going to determine my outlook for each day- I am,” said Davis.

Additionally, the Pensacola Police Department and the American Cancer Society are co-partners in the first annual Pensacola’s Finest Relay 5K, a race to that will raise funds to fight cancer. For more information on the race, click HERE.

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