You don’t usually find what you’re not looking for. At least when it comes to recognizing the red flags your body is waving. It’s commonplace to struggle to get the right diagnosis, especially in the Western medical system. Emphasis is unfortunately often placed on dealing with one symptom at a time and the deeper underlying cause takes longer to discover… and not every condition gives you the luxury of that wasted time.
34-Year-Old Woman Thinks Confuses Colon Cancer Symptoms for Food Poisoning
Diana Zepeda is a 34-year-old woman who recently underwent her final treatment for stage 4 colon cancer. For roughly 2 years leading to Zepeda’s diagnosis, she dismissed her symptoms of colon cancer, attributing the warning signs to stress and food poisoning. Zepeda’s shocking and jolting experience is one she had to share in order to help others and prevent them from dismissing the signs of early onset colon cancer.
For roughly 2 years Zepeda experienced symptoms such as gas, cramps, diarrhea and even blood in the stool. Though Zepeda mostly equated her symptoms to poor diet choices and stress from work, she eventually went to see a gastroenterologist. Tests revealed Zepeda tested positive for E. coli. However, antibiotics used to treat the condition proved ineffective and further tests were scheduled.
Upon waiting for a colonoscopy, Zepeda’s condition worsened with severe vomiting, stomach cramps and nausea. Doctor’s decided to give Zepeda a pre-emptive partial colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. At that time doctor’s discovered a tumor blocking Zepeda’s colon and she was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
In the ensuing 6 months, Zepeda underwent chemotherapy and a series of surgeries. Zepeda says the treatments had her feeling “completely depleted”. After the very first treatment, Zepeda went as far as saying “I was ready to quit. I felt really depressed and really isolated. I was like, I can’t do this. I’ve already gone through enough. I can’t do six months of this” (3).
Despite Zepeda’s arduous battle, she did indeed pull through and completed her final treatment on Thursday, March 29th. Zepeda was so enthused to finish treatment she attended her final session in a black evening gown. Zepeda will officially enter remission in still a few years. In the meantime, she is looking forward to getting back to her life which includes traveling and spending time with friends.
Early Onset Colon Cancer
Take heed of Zepeda’s story and don’t be caught off guard by early-onset colon cancer. While the vast majority of people who contract colon cancer are above 50, studies indicate the risk of colon cancer in younger adults is on the rise. Studies show that in adults aged 20-39, colon cancer rates have increased from 1% to 2.4% each year since the mid-1980’s (1).
Colon cancer symptoms should never be ignored, no matter what your age. Even young adults need to be mindful of the symptoms and be willing to get checked out by there doctors.
Early Onset Colon Cancer Symptoms (2):
1- Change in frequency of bowel movements.
3- Change in consistency of stool (loose or watery stools).
4- Blood in stools.
5- Rectal bleeding.
6- Abdominal pain: Bloating or cramps.
7- A persistent feeling that you cannot completely empty your bowels.
Watch this short video showing further information and warning signs of colon cancer.