Doctors made a stunning discovery when a young father suffering digestive troubles came in for treatment.
Dan Gut said he tried to ignore his uncomfortable symptoms. He didn’t realize how serious they could be and now he’s sharing his story to encourage others to seek help sooner.
Gut is a financial advisor, husband, and father of five. He has a busy life and when he started having bowel issues, he didn’t think much of it.
“I always thought maybe it was what I was eating, or, like, lactose intolerance,” Gut said.
His symptoms persisted and his wife grew concerned.
“It progressively kept getting a little bit worse and a little bit worse and that’s when I mentioned it to my wife and she was like, ‘Yeah, you gotta get it checked out,’” Gut said.
His doctors at the Cleveland Clinic soon discovered what was wrong. He had more than 100 polyps in his colon, putting him at high risk for colorectal cancer.
“Because of the large number of polyps in each one of them having the potential to turn into cancer, the best treatment would be removing all of the colon, leaving the rectum in place, and then hooking up the small intestine to the rectum,” Dr. David Liska said.
Liska is a colorectal surgeon with the Cleveland Clinic. He performed Gut’s surgery and said everything went well.
“It’s a large surgery, but we do it minimally invasively. Meaning, very small incisions. So the recovery is actually not as bad as you think it would be and people do very well with having that part of the colon removed,” Liska said.
Gut is now back at work and hasn’t had any other problems. Colorectal cancer cases are on the rise in younger adults. There are different theories about what is causing it -- one being it could be related to the bacteria that live in our guts.
Regardless of the cause, doctors say it’s important to not ignore any symptoms. A colonoscopy is now recommended starting at age 45.
If you have certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, a family history of colorectal cancer, or advanced polyps, you should get checked out sooner.
If you are experiencing any digestive symptoms of bowel changes talk to your doctor right away.