During Amanda’s hospital stay in December, Medscape published an online documentary about young adults with colorectal cancer. The documentary featured Amanda and another young cancer patient, Wyatt (who passed away about a month before Amanda). Initially, we only saw the first two episodes and wondered about the conclusion.
A few weeks ago, I noticed the third episode, “Hit It With Everything We’ve Got,” was online. Maybe the video was available earlier and we missed it, but this installment captures the devastating effect colon cancer has on young, unsuspecting adults. One day you have other plans and dreams, as Amanda and I did, and the next day you’re scheduling appointments with oncologists and surgeons. Amanda’s interview for the finale is very difficult to watch.
Today’s the first day of March, which is Colon Cancer Awareness Month. And, Amanda participated in the Medscape documentary to raise awareness about the surge in colorectal cancer cases affecting young adults–so, with links to the Colon Cancer Alliance and other resources, here’s what you should know or do:
- Yes, the incidence rates of colon and rectal cancers among young adults have increased in recent years. No one really knows why.
- Screening for colon and rectal cancer is incredibly important. Most who are diagnosed with colon cancer are asymptomatic, so everyone should know if they’re at risk.
- You should take this colon cancer risk quiz.
- Talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- A change in bowel habits
- Persistent abdominal discomfort
- Rectal bleeding
- Weakness or fatigue
As noted by the Colon Cancer Alliance, “Only a medical professional can determine the cause of your symptoms. … It is important not to wait before seeing a doctor. Early detection can save your life.”
(This blog post is written by Amanda’s husband, Charles)