GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Colorectal cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer for both men and women. It’s also being diagnosed earlier and earlier in patients.
Grayson Moore was a nurse at Vidant when she started noticing problems in 2015.
“It took me a good three months to go because I was embarrassed,” Moore said. “It’s embarrassing to say oh I’m 28 years old and I’m having trouble with my stool and I’m having trouble with my bottom.”
Moore had no family history of colorectal cancer, and was far too young in many doctor’s eyes to be getting a colonoscopy. But she finally made an appointment to see Dr. Thomas Sturgis of Atlantic Gastroenterology in Greenville.
“She is rather a classic representation of colon cancer in a younger age,” Dr. Sturgis said. “We’re seeing people with the disease usually on the left side of the colon, and more advanced.”
When she got her diagnosis, Moore thought it was a death sentence.
But people that young being diagnosed with colon cancer is becoming more common across the country.
According to a new study by the American Cancer Society, people born in 1990 have twice the risk of having colon cancer, and four times the risk of rectal cancer.
But the million dollar question is why?
Doctors don’t have a definitive answer, but do have some guesses.
“Obesity, sedentary lifestyle, high fat diet, low fiber diet,” Sturgis said. “These things are becoming more and more prevalent in our lifestyle.”
Moore is concerned the negative stigma associated with colorectal cancer will keep people from getting the help they may need.
“People giggle and laugh and think it’s funny, so I was embarrassed and didn’t want to go,” she said.
But she hopes by sharing her story, that changes. The American Cancer Society estimates more than 50,000 people will die from colorectal cancer in the U.S. in 2017.
To find out more on colorectoral cancer, click here.