Topic: Woman, 31, thought her colon cancer warning signs were pregnancy symptoms
When Jenna Scott, then 31, was about seven months pregnant, she started experiencing worrisome symptoms: rectal bleeding, nausea and abdominal pain. Her doctor assured her that hemorrhoids and discomfort were just part of pregnancy. When her symptoms didn’t go away after giving birth, she learned the shocking news: She had stage 4 colorectal cancer.
“I don’t understand how this happened to me and to someone my age,” Scott, now 34, of Norcross, Georgia, told TODAY. “Cancer wasn’t in my world.”
Scott is sharing her story to raise awareness of colorectal cancer in young people of color.
“I’m really focused on getting the word out to my community, the Black community, because we don’t really talk about it,” she said. “We’re not really going to the doctors like we should and access to health care isn’t as easy.”
When Scott began feeling nauseated and bleeding while pregnant in 2017, she worried. But her OB-GYN put her at ease by saying what she experienced was normal.
“He said, ‘Well that just comes along with the territory of pregnancy,’” Scott recalled. “I just bore it. Until my son was born and nothing stopped. I was still in pain.”
She tried different types of birth control and still felt unwell. A little after son Cameron’s first birthday, she went to her primary care physician, who listened to her concerns, performed bloodwork, which was normal, and recommended she visit a gastrointestinal doctor, who ordered a colonoscopy.
“I told him what was going on, and he just looked at me and said, ‘You’re physically fit. You’re really young. We don’t know what this is, but let’s just rule out anything serious.’ So that’s why I had the colonoscopy,” she said.
Topic Discussed: Woman, 31, thought her colon cancer warning signs were pregnancy symptoms