She Was Diagnosed With Stage 3 Cancer After Ignoring This ‘Embarrassing Symptom’

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After ignoring this “embarrassing symptom,” she was told she had stage 3 cancer.

In a moving story, Colorado resident Jelena Tompkins has bravely talked about her fight with stage 3 rectal cancer. She has done this to show how important it is to not ignore symptoms that seem harmless. Her story gives people hope and makes them more aware, encouraging them to listen to their bodies and get medical help when they need it.

Not Seeing the Signs

In 2016, when she was 34, Jelena brushed off a change in her body that worried her. Even though she had a strict health plan and ran a lot, she noticed that her petrol smelled funny. At first, she thought it was because she ate a lot of vegetables. She ignored the problem that wouldn’t go away and tried to fix it with probiotics, but the problem kept happening. It wasn’t until she noticed blood in her poop that she became worried, which is why she brought it up at her annual check-up.

How to Diagnose and Treat

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After talking to her doctor, the first thing that came to mind was that it might have something to do with her food. The grim truth, though, was revealed by more tests, including a colonoscopy: Jelena was fighting stage 3 rectal cancer. “I felt great.” “I ate well and never thought that cancer would happen to me so soon,” she said.

Even though the news came as a surprise, she chose an aggressive treatment plan. One that had radiation and oral treatment for 28 days. These steps were followed by surgery to remove the tumour. Twelve inches of her colon and seventeen lymph nodes were taken out during the operation. Five cancerous lymph nodes were left behind. Following that, she had an ileostomy. A surgical technique in which the small intestine is moved through the abdominal wall to help the body heal.

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How Hard It Is to Get Remission

Jelena’s strength and drive helped her get through months of chemotherapy and surgery and reach remission. Even though no one in her family had ever had cancer, she handled the difficult situation with grace and strength. She kept her cool and stuck with the post-treatment plans, going through maintenance chemotherapy and getting yearly scans to carefully check on her health.

“At first, I had CT scans and bloodwork done every three months to make sure all of my blood counts were going back up,” she said. “It got pushed back to every six months and then every year. Now I only go in once a year for follow-up blood work and to check in with my oncologist.”

Image Credit: colorado.jelena Instagram

Getting the Most Out of Support

In the middle of her problems, Jelena found comfort and strength in the digital world. Using social media, she connected with a group of people who were going through the same things she was. “I connected with so many other people who had finished treatment or were going through treatment at the same time as me. It helped me feel like I wasn’t the only young woman going through this.” The young mum talked about it.

This online friendship gave her a lot of mental support and reassurance that she wasn’t the only one going through hard times. She found the strength to face the problems head-on by sharing her experiences and getting support from others.

Public Awareness and Advocacy

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The story of Jelena’s trip shows how strong the human spirit is and how persistence can change things. By telling her story, she pushes for more people to know about healthcare issues and take action to improve it. Her story shows how important it is to pay attention to your body and see a doctor when you notice worrying signs. No matter what age or genetics they are.

What You Should Know About Colon Cancer

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How common is rectal cancer? Rectal cancer is a type of colorectal cancer that only affects the rectum, which is the last part of the big intestine. Even though rectal cancer has some of the same risk factors and signs as colon cancer, it is harder to treat because it is in a different place and close to other organs. It’s important to understand these differences in order to make a correct evaluation and come up with a personalised treatment plan.

Effects of Lifestyle and Environmental Factors: Genes play a big part in colorectal cancer, including rectal cancer, but lifestyle and environmental factors also raise the chance. A lifestyle that is low in fibre and high in processed meats, being overweight, smoking, and drinking too much alcohol have all been linked to a higher chance of getting rectal cancer. Also, being exposed to some environmental toxins and pollutants may make getting sick even more likely. This shows how important it is to live a healthy life and limit your exposure to dangerous substances.

Screening and early detection play a big part in Like colon cancer, rectal cancer may take a while to show any signs in its early stages. But when signs do show up, they can include changes in bowel habits, rectal bleeding, stomach pain, and weight loss that can’t be explained. Because rectal cancer can spread without showing any symptoms, it is important to get screened for it regularly, especially if you are over 50, have a family history of colon cancer, or have had inflammatory bowel disease in the past. Some screening methods are colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and stool-based tests. These allow for early discovery and treatment, which improves survival rates and the success of treatment.

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