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Danbury Mother Advocates for Early Tests, one of Rising Concern of Young People with Colon Cancer

Colon Cancer
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Ana Costa acknowledged that she had not been considering colon cancer at the time she began to feel “a nagging, constant pain” in her stomach and lower back.

“I was thinking ‘Is it my diet? Do I need to lose weight? Do I need to change my lifestyle?’ — things like that,” the 46-year-old Danbury resident said. “Never did I think colon cancer.”

Costa stated that she began experiencing persistent stomach pain and bloating at the age of 44, which neither her primary care physician nor her gynecologist could identify. After being told to consult a gastroenterologist, who suggested a colonoscopy to look into the source of her symptoms, she followed the advice. Following the discovery of a tumor during the colonoscopy, Costa underwent surgery a few weeks later to have the 10-inch piece of her colon that was impacted by the tumor removed.

Costa, who has not had cancer since April 2022, is one of the increasing number of persons under 50 who are being diagnosed with colon cancer. According to the American Cancer Society website, there will be 53,010 deaths from these malignancies overall in 2024, with an estimated 106,590 new cases of colon cancer, commonly known as colorectal cancer, and 46,220 new instances of rectal cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, those at average risk of colorectal cancer should begin routine screening at age 45 and continue until age 75, as advised by both the US Preventative Services Task Force and the American Cancer Society. A visual examination of the colon and rectum or a stool-based test can be used for routine screening.
But even though colon cancer is the third most frequent cancer worldwide, its rising incidence among younger people is “a little bit of a mystery,” according to Marc Casasanta, a colorectal surgeon at Nuvance Health in Danbury.

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