Wade Hayes has received some very good news from his doctors: He is (once again) cancer free!

"I had my health, but I took life for granted," Hayes tells The Boot. "I don't do that any more. I feel like I wasted a lot of time not doing the right thing -- not doing what I was supposed to be doing. I feel like I finally am doing that now. I've fought through this, and I want to help people fight."

The singer was first diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011. His doctors declared him cancer free in November of 2012, but in 2013, the cancer returned, this time in his lymph nodes. The Oklahoma native admits that recovery was especially difficult the second time around.

“They opened me up from stem to stern, literally,” Hayes reveals. “They had to take a big part of my large intestine, most of my liver, part of my diaphragm out, lymph nodes, and I’ve had several small surgeries on my liver to get it repaired enough to work correctly. It was a bad deal. It was very serious. I’m probably being too brutally honest, but it’s the truth. I look like a baseball from all the scars I’ve got!”

Now, Hayes is now an outspoken advocate for early detection of colon cancer.

“The key to it is catching the disease early,” he says. “Colon cancer is one of the leading killers in the United States for men and women, but it’s also one of the most treatable if you catch it early enough. I ignored my symptoms, and just attributed them to something else until it was too late. I certainly don’t want that to happen to someone else.”

After a successful PledgeMusic campaign, Hayes has released a new album, Go Live Your Life. Given that the disc features "nine or 10" songs written while Hayes was battling cancer, its release is the perfect way to celebrate his recovery.

"I'm thankful I still get to do this -- to write and sing and perform," Hayes adds, "and I feel like I have a real purpose now."

Go Live Your Life is available for purchase on Hayes' website.

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