In April of 2019, Colt Blunt arrived to a routine physical prepared with notes describing some gastrointestinal symptoms he had been experiencing, including heartburn, bloating, abdominal pain and general discomfort.
“My symptoms weren’t that bad, but they were new,” says Blunt, a forensic psychologist in Minnesota. “Luckily, I have a fantastic primary care doctor, so he took me seriously. He said it was probably just acid reflux, put me on some proton pump inhibitors and said if I wasn’t perfectly back to normal after 10 days, he would send me for an endoscopy.”
Although the medication helped, it didn’t eradicate Blunt’s symptoms, so the following week, he went in for an endoscopy. At 37 years old, Blunt was young and otherwise healthy. However, because his family has a history of cancer, when the endoscopy visualized an ulcerated area of his cardia, he was concerned about the risk.
“I asked my (gastrointestinal) doctor ‘What are the chances that this is cancer?’ and he said, ‘One in a million,’ “ Blunt says. “When I asked him why, he said that he had just diagnosed a 37-year-old with stomach cancer the week before, and he sure as hell wasn’t going to diagnose another one a week later.”
However, on June 20, 2019, that’s exactly what happened. After his endoscopy, Blunt received a diagnosis of stage 3 gastric adenocarcinoma of the upper cardia (just below the esophagus). Although gastric cancer at Blunt’s age is rare, his experience is representative of a growing trend — an increasing number of patients under the age of 50 are receiving a diagnosis of gastrointestinal cancer.
Excerpt from CURE Magazine – Gastrointestinal Cancers – Special Issue – March 2021 – READ MORE