30-Year-Old Rachel Allen Fights Colon Cancer

- LITTLE ROCK, AR - Once a week for four hours, Rachel Allen is connected to a machine for life-saving chemotherapy.

Two years ago Rachel got the shocking news which came right after what she calls "the best possible day ever. We took the kids to Disney On Ice.  It was my Mother's Day present."

But the next day she says she woke up really, really sick and it only became worse.

After doctors performed several tests, a CT Scan, revealed she had Stage IV colon cancer. She was only 28.

She tells FOX16's Donna Terrell that she was "numb," saying further that, "we didn't have any history of any kind of cancer in my family. I've always been very healthy, always try to pay attention to what I eat, exercising. It was just a complete shock."

The American Cancer Society doesn't suggest screening for colon cancer until age 50 unless a person has a family history of the disease. But some doctors say patients are getting the younger.

Dr. Rhonda Gentry, an oncologist in Little Rock, puts it this way: "I don't think we have a complete understanding of why more people are getting it at a younger age. [but we have gone from] eating our meals at home to over the course of my lifetime, to eating a whole lot more fast food, processed foods and fewer fruits and vegetables."

Dr. Gentry feels one day researchers will discover that to be a bigger impact than we realize.

Rachel says her family gives her joy as she battles this disease.  She tells other young people "if you have any kind of symptoms get them checked. Talk to your doctor about them."  

And she's right because early detection can save your life.

Click here to learn about "Yoga Warriors," our free community event on Saturday, March 29 at 10 a.m. and join us to help raise awareness and money for the fight against colon cancer.

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