I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer aged 34 despite being in best shape ... trends now

I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer aged 34 despite being in best shape ... trends now
I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer aged 34 despite being in best shape ... trends now

I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer aged 34 despite being in best shape ... trends now

A Colorado woman was diagnosed with colorectal cancer after thinking her foul-smelling gas was from her probiotics.  

Jelena Tompkins was just 34 years old in 2016 when she noticed that her gas smelled more foul than it used to. 

The mother-of-one had just run a half marathon and kept a healthy diet, though she thought it could have been from something she ate.

Ms Tompkins started taking probiotics to balance her gut bacteria, but the smell did not improve. Soon after, she noticed blood in her stool

Jelena Tompkins was just 34 years old in 2016 when she noticed her gas smelled more potent than normal. She was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer

Jelena Tompkins was just 34 years old in 2016 when she noticed her gas smelled more potent than normal. She was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer

Ms Tompkins had just run a half marathon before her diagnosis and ate a healthy diet. 'I was in some of the best shape of my life,' she told The Patient Story. 'I ate healthy and didn’t ever think that cancer would strike me at such a young age'

Ms Tompkins had just run a half marathon before her diagnosis and ate a healthy diet. 'I was in some of the best shape of my life,' she told The Patient Story. 'I ate healthy and didn’t ever think that cancer would strike me at such a young age'

Ms Tompkins had just run a half marathon before her diagnosis and ate a healthy diet. 'I was in some of the best shape of my life,' she told The Patient Story. 'I ate healthy and didn’t ever think that cancer would strike me at such a young age'

She attributed the symptoms to the probiotics, and at her annual physical a few months later, her doctor said the bleeding was just from dietary changes. 

However, three months later, when Ms Tompkins wasn't taking the probiotics, doctors ran allergy tests to see if food intolerances had upset her digestive system. 

Finally, she underwent a colonoscopy, which revealed stage three rectal cancer that had spread to her lymph nodes. 

'I was in some of the best shape of my life,' Ms Tompkins told The Patient Story. 'I ate healthy and didn’t ever think that cancer would strike me at such a young age.'

Colorectal cancer rates are on the rise worldwide, causing an epidemic in young people

Rates are expected to double in young people by 2030, and colorectal cancer is also expected to become the leading cause of cancer deaths in people under 50 by the end of the decade. 

Cancers of the colon and rectum are the third most common type in the US and the third leading cause of death in both men and women.

The American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates about 153,000 colorectal cancer cases were detected in 2023, including 19,500 among those under 50 years old.

Some 53,000 people are expected to die from the disease this year.

Experts are still working to unravel the cause of this devastating epidemic. They have commonly blamed unhealthy diets, alcohol consumption, and sedentary lifestyles on this shift.

Data from JAMA Surgery showed that colon cancer is expected to rise by 90 percent in people ages 20 to 34 by the year 2030. Doctors are not sure what is driving the mystery rise

Data from JAMA Surgery showed that colon cancer is expected to rise by 90 percent in people ages 20 to 34 by the year 2030. Doctors are not sure what is driving the mystery rise

Ms Tompkins underwent radiation and chemotherapy, with breaks to attend her sister's wedding and run in a local race

Ms Tompkins underwent radiation and chemotherapy, with breaks to attend her sister's wedding and run in a local race

Ms Tompkins had 12 inches of her colon and rectum, as well as 17 lymph nodes, removed and was given an ileostomy bag

Ms Tompkins had 12 inches of her colon and rectum, as well as 17 lymph nodes, removed and was given an ileostomy bag

Ms Tompkins had 12 inches of her colon and rectum, as well as 17 lymph

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