GRAPEVINE, Texas — Evan White is only 26 years old, but he’s all too familiar with colon cancer.
“I thought it was always a disease for old people,” says White. “I couldn’t believe at 24 that I somehow had colon cancer.”
About two years ago, White went to the emergency room for a tonsil infection. Blood tests later showed an alarming diagnosis: stage 3 colon cancer.
“It feels like a dream,” says White. “I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way this can actually be real.’”
White had surgery and went through chemotherapy, ultimately beating the colon cancer. This year, the cancer returned. The now-26-year-old is having surgery on Wednesday.
“Colon cancer strikes at any age,” says Baylor Scott & White Medical Center's Dr. Clifford Simmang, White’s surgeon.
In fact, research shows colon cancer rates are increasing among young adults.
A 2017 study, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows those born around 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer compared to people born around 1950.
White has no family history of colon cancer. Now, he’s encouraging his peers to see their primary care physicians regularly.
“Pay attention to your body,” says White.