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Larae Sorrels of Enid was 27 years old when she started experiencing what she thought were just terrible menstrual cramps. After a mass was discovered obstructing her bowels she was diagnosed with colon cancer. This is her story.

Colorectal Cancer

A Candid Discussion with a Young Colon Cancer Survivor

Photo of Larae SorrelsLarae Sorrels of Enid was 27 years old when she started experiencing what she thought were just terrible menstrual cramps. She went to see several OB/GYNS before a mass was discovered obstructing her bowels. Sorrels admits at first, she didn't really think much of it. "I thought finally I knew what was causing my problems. I thought they'll remove the mass and that will be the end of it. Never in a million years did I think it was cancer."

Sorrels was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer. She confesses, it was a hard pill to swallow. "There was a lot of anger. I remember thinking this is an old man's disease and here I am in my twenties being forced to wear a colostomy bag."

Larae has no family history of cancer and never even knew anyone with cancer, so she was truly blindsided by the diagnosis. "I had just been accepted to nursing school in Kentucky. Then two days later I was being admitted into the hospital," remembers Sorrels. "I thought my life was ruined and I sank into a very dark place."

Photo of Larae Sorrels"Nobody knows for sure why colorectal cancer numbers are rising in young people," says Sumbal Nabi, M.D., with the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute in Enid. "A sedentary lifestyle, high blood sugar, vitamin D deficiency and eating a lot of red meat have all been associated with the disease. Heavy alcohol use and conditions such as type 2 diabetes are also possible causes."

She adds, "When someone is diagnosed with cancer at a young age, people automatically suspect genetics, but experts still haven't been able to use genetics to explain the surge."  
 

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