A woman who thought her side pain was from carrying a baby was diagnosed with colon cancer

Leeanne Davies-Grassnick was diagnosed with colon cancer that had spread to her liver.Photos by Leeanne Davies-Grassnick

  • The woman was diagnosed with cancer, which she believed was caused by muscle pain from carrying the baby.

  • Symptoms of bowel cancer include abdominal pain, blood in the stool and changes in bowel habits.

  • More and more young people are getting colon cancer.

Leeanne Davies-Grassnick was on her first holiday in Greece with her four-month-old son and wife when she started experiencing sharp pains under her ribs.

The 38-year-old German struggled to walk for more than 10 minutes because of the pain, but thought she had injured a muscle while carrying her son Caspar, she told Bowel Cancer UK magazine.

Three days after he landed home in London, the pain under his rib got worse, so he went to the emergency room. After four days of tests, Davies-Grassnick was diagnosed with colon cancer – a type of bowel cancer also called colon cancer – which had spread to her liver.

“I just said ‘my little baby, my poor thing,'” she said.

More and more young people are getting colon cancer

Davies-Grassnick told Insider that she’s sharing her story to raise awareness about cancer, especially colon cancer, and pointed to the increase in diagnoses among young people.

The American Cancer Society said in its 2023 colorectal cancer statistical report that one in five new cases of colon and rectal cancer is in young people, 50 years of age or younger.

According to the ACS, many colon cancer deaths can be prevented by screening, but this is low among young people.

It also said that half of colon cancer cases are caused by external factors such as drinking, smoking and unhealthy diet.

Colon cancer symptoms include: changes in bowel habits, bleeding from the anus, blood in the stool and abdominal pain.

Leeanne Davies-Grassnick with her son.

Leeanne Davies-Grassnick thought her pain was from carrying her baby.Photo by Leeanne Davies-Grassnick.

Davies-Grassnick said her liver looked like a Dalmatian

Davies-Grassnick told Insider that when she was diagnosed, her liver looked like a Dalmatian because of the tumors. One was six inches wide.

He said the liver tumors were so large that they stretched the liver capsule, causing pain below his rib cage.

He began chemotherapy on May 20, 2022, which shrunk the tumor in August and stopped the cancer from spreading. But surgeons couldn’t remove one of the tumors in his liver because of its location.

He got a second opinion from another surgeon who said he could remove all the tumors from his liver.

While she was excited, she also said she was petrified about the surgery, especially since she had to take a four-week break from chemotherapy to prepare and her cancer was aggressive.

“We went home to Germany and I got to see my family and have a normal Christmas. Our son, Caspar, turned one,” she said.

Three days before Davies-Grassnick was scheduled to have surgery, a surgeon looked at her CT scans and decided he wouldn’t be able to remove the awkwardly placed tumor.

The surgery was canceled and she returned to chemotherapy the following week.

“The plan now is just to continue the chemotherapy as long as it works,” he said, “and I’m hoping the science will really improve as we go along.”

Leeanne Davies-Grassnick with his wife Emma and their son Caspar at Christmas

One of Davies-Grassnick’s was 6 inches wide.Photo by Leeanne Davies-Grassnick

Davies-Grassnick said being diagnosed with cancer was a lonely experience, and sharing the experience on Instagram helped her digest it.

“I hope it also helps someone else who reads it, sees it, who is going through something similar or has a loved one going through it,” she said.

Read the original article on Insider

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