Justin was only 28 years old when he started having stomach pain and noticed some blood in his stool. His symptoms seemed to improve, but he decided to see a specialist anyway. That decision probably saved his life.
While it is relatively uncommon for an otherwise healthy 28-year-old to have colon cancer, Dr. Kevin Cronley believed Justin’s symptoms were cause for concern, and performed a colonoscopy. The results shocked everyone.
“Justin had stage 3C colon cancer, which is an advanced form of the disease,” recalls Dr. Cronley. “We discovered a 4cm tumor and later determined the cancer had spread to some lymph nodes. Justin’s decision to seek a gastroenterologist and undergo a colonoscopy likely saved his life.”
Justin’s reaction to his cancer diagnosis was complicated. “I think at first I was in denial. I was 28, active, and looking to start a family with my wife. Getting cancer never really crossed my mind.”
Justin underwent surgery to remove the tumor, 24 lymph nodes and about ¼ of his colon. He then began an aggressive course of chemotherapy. His seven-month ordeal was extremely difficult, both physically and emotionally, but now the future is bright.
“Today I am feeling good, better than ever. There is always that fear in the back of my head that the cancer could come back, but I have to stay positive. I had a great 2022. My wife and I celebrated my last chemo treatment, and we did some traveling. I no longer take the little things for granted.”
Justin now considers himself a colonoscopy advocate. “Since my diagnosis, my whole family has undergone colonoscopies. I am now 30 years old, and I’ve already had four. They are NOT that bad. Don’t risk your life because you don’t want to undergo a very minor procedure.”
He's also very grateful for care he’s received. “Dr. Cronley and his team are top notch. Dr. Cronley shared his own battles with cancer with me. We had a conversation after my chemo was over, and we talked about life after cancer. That helped me a ton. I would recommend him to anyone.”
 Their special doctor-patient bond is evident. “It’s been an honor to take care of Justin,” shared Dr. Cronley. “It’s been very rewarding to use my professional training and personal experience as a cancer survivor to help him though this difficult time in his life.”
If you have questions or concerns about colon cancer, or other digestive health issues, talk to a gastroenterologist.


Make An Appointment

Tags Colorectal (Colon) Cancer, Colonoscopy

Related Stories

Colon Cancer Rates on the Rise in Women Under 50

The latest American Cancer Society guidelines now recommend women aged 45 and older get screened for colon cancer. While traditionally screening for colon cancer has started at age 50, recent trends indicate a rising incidence of colon cancer in younger adults. Colon cancer is now the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in women under 50, behind breast cancer.

Read Article

Colon Cancer Rates on the Rise in Men Under 50

According to the American Cancer Society’s newly released annual cancer statistic report, colorectal cancer is now the number one cause of cancer deaths in men under 50. The same report lists colorectal cancer as the second leading cause of death of women in the same age group, right behind breast cancer.

Read Article

February is National Cancer Prevention Month

Screening tests are an important weapon in the fight against cancer. Screening can often help find and treat pre-cancers and cancers early, before they have a chance to spread. A colonoscopy is considered the gold standard of colorectal cancer screening. During a colonoscopy a gastroenterologist can detect precancerous growths, called polyps, which can be removed during the procedure. Early detection greatly increases the chances of successful treatment and survival.

Read Article

Healthcare Professionals VIP Colonoscopy Day

Calling all physicians, healthcare providers, and healthcare staff members in Northern Virginia! Please join us for our annual Healthcare Professionals VIP Colonoscopy Day on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at Javier Road Endoscopy Center in Fairfax, VA. This year, Dr. Tonya Adams, Dr. Iris Lee, and Dr. Bezawit Tekola will the screening physicians on this special Saturday!

Read Article