A Mom's Colon Cancer Battle & Misdiagnosis
- A 35-year-old mom of 4 found herself diagnosed with stage 4 bowel cancer; an ultrasound technician thought her tumor was fatty tissue. The mom had been experiencing night sweats which doctors initially dismissed as being from an iron deficiency.
- One of the most common signs of colon cancer is a change in bowel habits. This ranges from constipation or diarrhea to changes in the size or shape of bowel movements. A change in stool color, particularly black or tarry stools, can indicate bleeding from a tumor that lies deep in the colon.
- There are 104,270 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Common treatments for colon cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Her family wants everyone to be aware of the symptoms of this disease, so others can be spared the pain of losing a loved one. Langlands battled the disease for 14 months before losing her cancer battle.Read More
Langland lost her battle with colon cancer last week, and she is survived by her children, Tayla, 14, Reese, 9, Kydan, 11 and Jordyn, 7. She sought special treatment in Thailand hoping it could save her.
Her sister shared the news of her passing, encouraging others to watch for colon cancer symptoms. She writes, “If you feel any changes in your bowel movements please get checked….Life is so precious, so fragile, we wish we had more time. No words can describe the immense pain and heartbreak we are feeling by losing Sarah…”
Colon Cancer Symptoms
One of the most common signs of colon cancer is a change in bowel habits. This ranges from constipation or diarrhea to changes in the size or shape of bowel movements. A change in stool color, particularly black or tarry stools, can indicate bleeding from a tumor that lies deep in the colon.
Langlands’ colon cancer symptoms included night sweats. Dr. Paul Oberstein from NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center goes over other symptoms of colon cancer in a previous interview with SurvivorNet.
“Imagine a wound on the surface of the skin,” Dr. Oberstein says. “It can bleed a little bit and ooze blood. And if that happens, one person– a person might see what’s called black tarry stools. So they might see darkness in their bowel movements. And that’s a sign of bleeding in the stool that’s caused by the cancer.”
If a person has significant bleeding, they can develop what’s called anemia, which is low blood counts, and be tired or have trouble with normal activities because of those blood counts.
“We often recommend to patients that if they see a change in their bowel movements and they feel more fatigued than usual, or they have new issues, it’s something to be concerned about and to be pursued with their physician.”
It is important to get screened for colon cancer even if you have no family history. Experts recommend that people at average risk of colorectal cancer start regular screening at age 45.
Screening for Colon Cancer
There are 104,270 new cases of colon cancer diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Common treatments for colon cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy.
Screening for colon cancer is done via colonoscopy which looks for polyps – small, white, potentially pre-cancerous growths – on the colon. 95% of polyps could turn into cancer. So, when one is detected during a colonoscopy, the doctor will send it to a lab to be examined as to whether or not it is precancerous.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) recommends that people with an average risk of the disease – meaning, no family history of colon cancer or no personal history of inflammatory bowel disease – start regular screening at age 45.