Colon cancer is a serious health issue that affects thousands of people every year.
Most people have the misunderstanding that colon cancer only affects older people. An alarming number of people under the age of 50 are coming down with the disease. The fact that young people don’t expect to get it is making them more susceptible to suffering from later stages of it. They aren’t getting checked, and many are waiting until the symptoms are severe to even see a doctor.
One young woman, Diana Zepeda, recently shared a story about her battle with colon cancer.
When she started experiencing stomach and digestive problems, she assumed she had food poisoning. When it became more than she could bear, she finally went to the doctor. She said:
“I thought to myself — ‘I guess I shouldn’t eat sushi that was sitting in someone’s car for 40 minutes,’. My symptoms didn’t get better — they got worse.”
She explained some of her symptoms, saying:
“I became nauseous and had severe abdominal cramps and nothing came out. I couldn’t stop vomiting.”
When the doctor told her that she had stage 4 colon cancer, she couldn’t believe it.
She had always been healthy, and although she had recently started feeling bad, she never expected it was anything as serious as cancer. She said:
“I was definitely in disbelief. I don’t have a family history.”
Like many others, she never expected to be diagnosed with colon cancer at such a young age.
Doctors say while it was once uncommon for young people to get colon cancer, it’s now happening a lot more often. Michael Sapienza, chief executive officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, explained:
“It is unbelievable. We don’t know why this is happening.”
Dr. John Marshall, director of the Ruesch Center for Cure of Gastrointestinal Cancers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, also weighed in on the issue:
“It is the unknown that is bugging us. We are learning more and more how a younger version is different. This younger crowd is … very active with good eating, good health habits. There is something going on that we don’t yet understand.”
Still, they say that most stomach and digestive issues are not cancer, but it’s still a good idea to have them checked out to rule out anything serious.
“Don’t panic. Most of the time it is not colon cancer. Most GI symptoms will come and go, but if something is just not right, bring it to someone’s attention.”
Zepeda ended up having chemotherapy to treat her colon cancer. As a mom and only 34 years old, it was not at all what she expected to happen when she went to the doctor that day. She said:
“I was pretty paralyzed with shock.”
She described chemotherapy, saying:
“It is like the worst hangover of your life, but it is for six months. I am tolerating it relatively well because I am younger and was pretty healthy beforehand. I think people can relate to the type of excuses … that I went through.”
Still, she wants everyone to know that colon cancer and other types of cancer are not as rare as many people think and it’s important to get checked regularly at any age.
Because hers was treated so aggressively, she has a very good chance of beating cancer. Had she waited any longer to seek medical attention, things might be different for her. She said:
“I have a chance to be completely cured. There is nothing lucky about getting cancer, but I still feel like I am incredibly lucky. Stop self-diagnosing and please go to the doctor.”
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So amazing to see people like Diana share their story! She said it folks go see your doctor. Unfortunately most people choose to suffer silently rather than discuss 💩. We understand that it may be uncomfortable for you but please know DDCOC is here to ease any of your nerves and most importantly able to detect any signs of cancer. Colon cancer is preventable!!! If you or a loved one is experiencing any changes in your stool don’t be hesitant to call (REGARDLESS of age) and book with any of our three compassionate physicians. ….#ddcoc #todayshow #coloncancerawareness #poop💩 #digestivewellness #guthealthmatters #alldiseasebeginsinthegut #digestivehealth #colonoscopyprep #gastroenterologist #stoolsample #irvinehealth #newportnews #bekindtoyourgut #feedingfamilies #danapointharbor #missionviejo #parentinghacks #vsco #eatwellnotperfect #postthepeople #fuelingyourpotential #liveauthentically #rdeats #doctorsofinstagram #nurturingwellness #mindfulmoments #healthyhome
Posted by Digestive Disease Consultants Of Orange County on Wednesday, April 4, 2018