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30 yr old diagnosed

Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2005

I was diagnosed with Stage IIA colorectal cancer shortly before my 31st birthday. I had surgery and I am finishing up chemotherapy treatment now. Do any of you know of someone my age who was diagnosed with colorectal cancer? The average age for getting this cancer is something like 62. I wonder if this was a fluke. (I was otherwise healthy, a vegetarian who exercised often.)

nanuk's picture
Posts: 1362
Joined: Dec 2003

this cancer doesn't play favorites; you will find a lot of folks in your age group here on CSN, all fighting the good fight. You are fortunate to have found your cancer in a very early stage. Long life, Nanuk

Posts: 120
Joined: May 2004

Hello, sorry to hear about your dx, but I was 43 when found mine, I was always told of the scope thing at 50, but if it runs in the family (as it did mine unbeknownest to me) the test should be at 40 I was told, so yes as Nanuk said there are some 30ish people in our community here, Welcome & everyone is so cool and open, Ask anything and someone will help or know an answer. It sucks yes as I am doing my 2nd round of chemo in a year, into 3rd month though... 1/2 way to goBut I am good all in all, tough days sometimes, welll you know you said you did chemo right? Take care & Live strong......Amy

Posts: 19
Joined: May 2004

Hi there, you are unfortunately not alone!!!! My husband was just 28 when he was diagnosed in March 04. He should be ok. It appears that his may have been in hereditery(sp) though. Take care & good luck.

spongebob's picture
Posts: 2598
Joined: Apr 2003

Ahoy there, LongSummer -

I was diagnosed at 37, but pathology indicated I had been "sick" since I was 33. I have a hereditary form of CC called HNPCC (Hereditary Non-Polyposis Colorectal Cancer). There are a couple forms of hereditary colon cancer and HNPCC is one of the more common.

Typical "symptoms" of HNPCC include:

1. (Obviously) family history
2. Diagnosis of colon cancer at a young age (seems like only yesterday that I thought everyone over 30 was "old")
3. Cancer on the right side of the colon (ascending/transverse colon) versus the left side (descending colon)

If you tink this might be your situation, I'd be happy to share more info with you - feel free to drop me a line.

- Welcome to the Semi-Colons, by the way. It's a fun group and there is probably more cancer experience chatting around here than you'll find at any cocktail party for Sloan-Kettering employees!


- SpongeBob

catch9's picture
Posts: 11
Joined: Feb 2001

39 year old, healthy, male. Actually very stupid since I ignored the blood for about 9 months before getting myself checked out. I am 42 now. I have a bad day once per week with digestion. I recommend eating lots of chicken and scrambled eggs - those seem to digest the best now.
Hang in there.

Posts: 708
Joined: May 2004

Hi there. I was diagnosed at 32 yrs old with stage 3 rectal cancer. I am now 34 with stage 4. You are not alone. There are quite a few of us youngsters here. I am so glad your was found at stage 2!!!!

There is a young persons cancer site at Planetcancer. Check it out.

Come here anytime with thoughts/questions. No matter how strange, you are not alone.

I was a vegetarian and STILL exercise often. I am a very healthy cancer survivor. jana

Posts: 17
Joined: Feb 2004

Just wanted to let you know that there are other young people. I am now 30 but was dx with stage IV colon cancer in August 2002 at the age of 28.

Posts: 5
Joined: Oct 2002

I was only 20yrs old when i was diagnosed with stage III colon ca. I went through surgery and chemo, and now im thankfully NED. Just when you think you are the youngest person you know w/ cancer, you'll end up meeting someone younger than you. I met someone a year ago that was only 16 when diagnosed. Anyways, there are a lot of us "young" survivors out there.

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I was diagnosed with Dukes stage III Colon Cancer @ age 24 after having surgery for a tumor found outside my Lrg. intestine/colon that was giving me horrible dicomfort. I went through extensive preventative chemo and its almost going to be a year since my last treatment, I am now 26 years of age. I still think its not fair what happened to me but you cannot think that way i've just realized. Things just happen and they just happen to just anyone at any just given time its not like this ran in my family history I just realized that it makes me a stronger person and with mind over matter can equal conquer over battle. They're are a lot of young adults that maybe need to realize that they are stronger than they think and it comes in many forms and for me this was my way of realizing that what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger emotionally, mentally and physically. and you can't live your life thinking why me all the time i've realized because it only makes things worse and there is always someone else out there who is either going through a similar case or even worse you just have to think positive and know that there are people outhere who care love and support you whether they're friends, family or strangers. Coping, i am still but it takes time and that's o.k. It's not my life anymore it was just a part of my life like a chapter in a book and thats what keep you, you and unique. Love yourself and you will see. I totally understand compleletly why you might think why.

Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hello and Welcome. I was recently diagnosed with stage IIa as well, but had just turned 50 at the time (now that I'm at that age it does not seem so old). Also exercise regularly. Can't say I was a vegetarian but have modified my diet a bit since surgery. I opted not to go for chemo (the data weren't convincing for stage 2). Hang in there. Lot's of good discussions on this site.


Posts: 484
Joined: Jan 2005

Hello and Welcome. I was recently diagnosed with stage IIa as well, but had just turned 50 at the time (now that I'm at that age it does not seem so old). Also exercise regularly. Can't say I was a vegetarian but have modified my diet a bit since surgery. I opted not to go for chemo (the data weren't convincing for stage 2). Hang in there. Lot's of good discussions on this site.


2bhealed's picture
Posts: 2085
Joined: Dec 2001

hi LS,

welcome but what a bummer, eh?

I was 39 at dx and was told my tumor could have been in there for a good ten years!

My sister was 29 at dx and was sick for years.

Yeah, we think we got the "old man" disease but we are actually a fairly young group.

I, too, was a healthy crunchy granola type (of and on veg) and was totally bummed and shocked when I got my dx.

So I got even crunchier and more intense about diet to heal this cancer. so far it has worked and I have not done one day of chemo and did it all with diet and juicing and Eastern Medicine.

peace, emily who just keeps getting younger!

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

I'm sure you have realised by now you are not alone in being young witht his illness. I was 31 and diagnosed stage 3- now recently finished my post op chemo and starting to look at reversing my ileostomy.

I do think there are some issues that are more relevant and important to young survivors than those in the more typical age range (no disrespect to my elders meant!) Aspects of fertility , wanting children, relationships, dating, sex (not that those over 40 don;t do it but I just don;t like to think about it) etc. Also just feeling more alone like you are the unluckiest person alive to have got it so young is hard to deal with. Also extrapolating the survival and recovery stats (that are based mainly on older folks with it) to us younger ones is hard to do.

However there are bonuses and they mainly focus on the fact that being young you are less lilel yot have other illnesses that will slow or complicate your recovery and being yong and generally fit does speed up your recovery and ability ot tolerate the treatments. This may feel a bit like trying to look on the bright side when there isn't one but it is very real that coping with this illness and the treatments is a big part of getting your life back and not letting this cancer take over.

Anyway,let us now a bit more about you and your journey through this illness and treatment if you feel like and welcome to what is a very useful and supportive place to ask questions, vent, shout and share.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004


I can not believe what you wrote. As a single healthy 50 year old, I resent your reference that sex, relationships, and dating are more relevant and important to younger folks. How dare you be so ignorant. Lordy, I guess you don't see any patients over 39.

Personally, my 40s were much more fun and entertaning then my 30s. I will feel sorry for your wife in a few years.

Lisa P.

Posts: 835
Joined: Apr 2004

Sorry if I ofended you scouty but still feel that the level of relevance is different at differing ages and teh key issues involved can be different. When you talk to a lot of teenagers with cancer who are jsut embarking on their first flirtations with dating and sex and they carry with them emotional baggage they are often not well equiped to deal with the issues are different than for a 45 year old looking to date and establish new relationships but has a 30 year history of experience to use and also has a history of doing it without the cancer issue.

Therefore I didn't mean that these are never issues for 40 + year olds they are simply different issues. The fertility and having children aspect of relationships and sex is also key to it and major difference.

I was also referring to the 'typical age' for colon cancer too which is actually in the 60s when dating and new relatioships are lesslikely (though not never) an issue.

Don't worry about my wife though scouty. She remains a happy woman.

scouty's picture
Posts: 1976
Joined: Apr 2004

I knew what you meant Steve, but with this instant menopause (some of the things you were referring to), I tend to over-react sometimes. BUT, I did learn something interesting from my onc. about the "instant menopause". He says chemo (I haven't had any radiation so I can't speak for that), the menopausal symtoms can occur in younger women, but after chemo, it can "reverse" itself and should. Given my age, mine probably won't, so I see it as a cost savings.

Kanort's picture
Posts: 1275
Joined: Jan 2004


I am sorry to read about your diagnosis. Congratulations on almost completing your chemo. Let us know about your progress.


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