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colon cancer at 18?
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colon cancer at 18?

So I just recently turned 18 (in June) and I have had a relatively sensitive stomach for most of my life.  When I was younger I used to experience pain and some bloating after eating, but the pain wasn't too severe so doctors never investigated further.  Anyway, since about May I have noticed that the stomach problems I have experienced periodically throughout my life have increased tremendously.  The symptoms I have include getting occasional fevers and sore throats, some heart burn, some minor bloating after eating (when I do eat), loss of appetite, weight loss (about 10 pounds in a month), extreme pain in my lower abdomen after eating, fluctuations between being constipated and having stomach attacks up to five times a day--much more common now than was in the beginning of the summer, fatigue, occasional nausea, and my stomach is starting to make a lot of weird noises.  

I've gone to a GI and I'm about to have tests done to test for CD, ulcerative colitis, celiac disease, and cancer.  I am thinking that what I'm experiencing is most likely CD, but I'm really worried that I might have colon cancer.  I know that it's uncommon to have colon cancer at such a young age, but I have a lot of symptoms and I have a family history of colon cancer--three family members on my dad's side, including my grandfather, have had/died from colon cancer.  I'm worried that maybe I have had a problem all along and because I never investigated it/gotten treatment in culmination with my family history, that I may have developed cancer. Also I read that diets high in sodium are risk factors for cancer, and my diet is definitely high in salt.  I am fairly active and I've always been thin, so the weight loss is definitely out of the ordinary and concerning.

Is it completely ridiculous to think I may have colon cancer at such a young age?
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It would be very, very, rare for you to have cancer, there are so many other benign things that can cause your symptoms. The best way for you to look at your situation is that you are aware that colon cancer runs in your family, you're having testing now to see what is causing your current problems, so this keeps you one step ahead of any future problems.  You'll always be one step ahead of any colon issues so find peace in that. Your GI doctor  can tell you how often your should get tested for any colon issues by reviewing your family history.  Having colon cancer in the family doesn't mean you will ever develop it.  Also, at the age of 50 is when everyone is supposed to start regular colonoscopies because this is the age when polyps are more likely to start developing...when this isn't done then a polyp can turn to cancer and that's why you see more older people develop colon cancer.  Even if a polyp is found it can be removed during the scope.  But we all need to be scoped prior to this age so go over everything with your GI doc and follow his advice on when and how often you need to be scoped.  You need to let him know the ages of the family members that have developed cancer to help him with directing you. Your weight loss is most likely due to not eating as much because of how you've been feeling. Try not to think the worst, youth is definitely on your side.
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