Out of breath, tired, a 36-year-old British woman thought she lacked iron and suffered from anemia. Her doctor discovered that she had early colon cancer.
In January 2021, Carla Mitchell, a 36-year-old British woman, went to her general practitioner for a health check-up. She felt less well than usual, out of breath climbing stairs, with a rapid heartbeat and extremely sore legs. “I had also noticed that my bowel habits were starting to change and I had stomach aches that woke me up during the night,” she explains.
I blamed my symptoms on menopause
Blood tests indicate anemia, so Carla’s doctor initiates further tests. “He told me that I was too young to have something sinister like cancer, but it was better to rule it out. Personally, I thought my symptoms were probably menopause-related and my doctor said first thought the same thing”. But the colonoscopy confirmed that it was indeed colon cancer.
“I had surgery which revealed that it was stage 3 cancer. Then I received adjuvant chemotherapy. Nausea and spasms in my throat and hands were the main side effects I could physically experience. After chemotherapy was completed, I was contacted by a genetic counselor to discuss further tests for Lynch syndrome, (a genetic disease that increases the risk of colon cancer, editor’s note). I accepted and in April 2022, I learned that I had tested positive for this syndrome”.
Colon cancer appears at an increasingly early stage. In addition to genetic risks, such as Lynch syndrome, researchers believe that certain dietary habits such as the consumption of sugar and red meats, as well as obesity, are responsible for this early onset of colorectal cancer.
Source :Bowel Cancer UK