More than 90 percent of colon cancer cases occur in adults over the age of 50. But make no mistake: colon cancer affects the young and the old alike. Research shows that young onset colon cancer is steadily rising, with dramatic increases seen among adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s (Source: StopColonCancerNow.com). Regardless of age, it is vital for everyone to familiarize themselves with the risk factors and warning signs of colon cancer and talk to their doctors immediately about any concerns. These are the stories of three people under the age of 50 who were able to beat colon cancer through early detection, diagnosis and treatment.
Scott was diagnosed with two unique forms of cancer before the age of 45. The first in his family to ever be diagnosed with colon cancer, Scott consulted his parents thinking maybe he had overlooked something that could have alerted him earlier. Scott has since managed to beat cancer three times, which has made him much more aware of the hereditary aspects of cancer and the need to discuss early screening with his children.
Scott has a unique outlook on his colon cancer diagnosis, saying he has the “best worst luck” of anyone he knows. While he would certainly never choose to have a cancer diagnosis, he feels fortunate to have a type of cancer that can be easily detected and treated.
Lisa thought colon cancer was the last thing she had to worry about due to her age and family history. So when she was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer at the age of 47, it came as a complete shock. Lisa remembers experiencing some fatigue, which she attributed to being a working mother, but she experienced no other alarming symptoms. “I’m so thankful that my doctor thought to send me to get a colonoscopy because this could have been very different,” she says. Due to early detection and prompt treatment, Lisa is now cancer free. In addition to discussing the need for early screening with her 17 year old daughter, Lisa is passionate about telling others of the need for colon cancer screening. “I talk about it all the time to anybody who will listen that it’s so important to get screened and screened early.”
Steve’s colon cancer journey began when he started noticing blood in his stool. He initially ignored his symptoms in hopes that they would disappear, but after about a month and a half of seeing no improvement, Steve finally consulted his primary care physician. This ultimately led to him being diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 43.
In addition to routine screening, Steve encourages everyone to be aware of any suspicious symptoms and have them evaluated by a doctor. “What I know now about colon cancer, and what I think everybody should be aware of is, pay attention to what’s going on with your body and don’t delay. Get screened. Talk to your doctor about things…The sooner you catch things, the better the result is going to be.”