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Woman shares the one symptom she had before being diagnosed with colon cancer

Woman shares the one symptom she had before being diagnosed with colon cancer

She opened up about her health issues

A woman suffering one particular symptom was left shocked when doctors dealt her the harrowing news that she had colon cancer.

After quarantining inside her home for the last four months during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, primary school teacher Stefania Frost was desperate for some quality time outdoors with her family.

The Massachusetts-born second-grade professor had planned a barbecue at her home in June 2020, after the rules over isolating finally relaxed in the States.

Stefania Frost opened up about her one and only symptom before being diagnosed with colon cancer.

While preparing for the much-needed soirée, however, she suddenly felt an sharp, agonising pain in the right side of her stomach.

After dismissing the twinge as something she'd eaten, or a stomach bug slowly coming on, she eventually gave in and went to her local GP.

The medical team assessed her and - concerned she may have developed appendicitis - sent her for a scan, during which it became apparent that her colon has become inflamed.

Stefania was handed some antibiotics and referred for a colonoscopy, though after the pain started to subside, she once again moved it to be back of her mind.

It was only when the results came through a week later that she was dealt the life-shattering blow - she had colon cancer.

Speaking to, she recalled the moment she was informed of the life-altering news - aged 36 at the time.

"Afterward, the doctor talked to me. I'm just waking up, and they said there was a tumour in the colon," she explained, adding it was 'really hard' not to have her husband or daughter in the room with her at the time due to the pandemic.

She now gets regular blood tests following surgery and chemotherapy.
cavan images / Getty Images

By the time she received her official diagnosis, the cancer had spread from her colon to her lymph nodes.

This news in itself came as a huge shock to Stefania, whose only noticeable symptom was the pain in her stomach.

According to the NHS symptoms of bowel cancer, which can be found anywhere in the large bowel, which includes the colon and rectum, may include:

  • Changes in your poo, such as having softer poo, diarrhoea or constipation that is not usual for you
  • Needing to poo more or less often than usual for you
  • Blood in your poo, which may look red or black
  • Bleeding from your bottom
  • Often feeling like you need to poo, even if you've just been to the toilet
  • Tummy pain
  • A lump in your tummy
  • Bloating
  • Losing weight without trying
  • Feeling very tired for no reason
Stefania is now urging others to take their health more seriously.

A few weeks after the barbecue, Stefania underwent surgery to remove the tumour in her colon as well has having 49 lymph nodes removed.

Stefania went on to have chemotherapy which ended in November and, today, she is nearly four years on from her colon cancer diagnosis.

"I'm so happy that I'm good, I'm recovering and I'm cancer-free," she said before also encouraging people to take their health more seriously.

Stefania resolved: "I'm trying to tell other people, especially my friends, 'Go get colonoscopies when you're 45'.

Stefania added that if you experience any concerning symptoms, like the ones listed above, go to the doctor sooner rather than later and get it seen to.

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week.

Featured Image Credit: Today/Stefania Frost

Topics: Health, Real Life, US News