When people think about colon cancer, their minds may conjure up stereotypical images of the disease: perhaps that it only affects those who are unhealthy or older. The truth, however, is that this disease can affect anyone of any gender, age, or race.
Keisha is a healthy female who was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer at the age of 31.
She knew something was wrong when she started experiencing constant stomach aches and digestive issues. Not someone to ignore the symptoms, she visited the doctor multiple times only to be told that nothing seemed to be wrong.
When her annual pap smear appointment came up, she told her gynecologist about the persisting problems and the swollen lymph nodes in her groin area. That gynecologist then ordered the ultrasound that discovered stage 4 colon cancer and saved her life. Keisha started chemo a week later. She was cancer free for a year, but it returned and she is now on the journey to being cancer-free again.
Keisha did everything right, and her story illuminates why it is so important to listen to our bodies and not ignore the symptoms. Colon cancer is 3rd most commonly diagnosed cancer, and it is also the most treatable when found early. If you are over 50, have a family history of polyps, or are experiencing concerning symptoms - it’s time to get screened. Don’t put it off, early detection and prevention is key.