Help increase screening and prevention for colon & rectal cancer.


Survivor Story: Katrina D.


I am a graduate student at NYU, an entrepreneur, and a professional vocalist/musician.

I had colon cancer, caught super early at age 19. Cancer has been littered through the family in small doses, and different forms. One Aunt had thyroid cancer, another ovarian, and another breast/lymph. All survived!

I had the most awful pain in my lower abdomen, that felt as if it radiated to my colon. Looking back after dozens of burst ovarian cysts since, I believe this was the first time an ovarian cyst ruptured. Doctors could not pinpoint the issue to gastro or ovarian. Because I had recently developed extreme stomach irregularities, they decided to check my colon with a colonoscopy – a procedure rarely done on a 19 year old.

The colonoscopy resulted in the location of a malignant tumor in my colon – a tumor that was said would not have given me any symptoms until it had spread significantly. It was removed and cauterized. Luckily, I didn’t need any other treatment because the cancer was contained. I receive regular colonoscopies (fun!) to make sure I’m clear, and have had dozens over the last 11 years.

Wow was I lucky. All my symptoms have been otherwise explained, which means my lonely little cancer tumor didn’t even have a chance to do its thing.

I have been struggling to find balance in my diet for years. I gave up gluten and dairy two years ago – offering me stomach and hormonal relief. But not enough. I have recently begun the Gerson diet – a diet for cancer and other issues that detoxifies the body for years.

Sometimes I ask myself how I developed colon cancer so young – I believe it has to do with the amount of processed and packaged foods I ate for every meal. There were times in my life I only ate from packages. I am completely opposite now, and feeling much better.

I wish I could offer a more impacting story – but at the same time, I don’t. I have caught a few serious health issues at the beginning by being aware of my body and going to the doctor. However, I have learned two things: 1) listen to your body, and 2) do your research! Check out the Gerson diet. There are several other diets of similar types that are focused on organic, primarily vegan foods that will allow your body to heal itself.


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