Known for bringing laughter and joy to millions of people on social media, Gonzalez is the father behind the “Enkyboys”.
The father-of-three said he finally decided it was time to tell his followers about his stage four colon cancer diagnosis.
“He said, ‘No matter what you do, you’re a dead man,'” Gonzalez said, recalling the first doctor who informed him of his diagnosis. “When he told me that, I was lost.”
Gonzalez said the doctor told him he had two to three years to live. He was 33 at the time.
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Now the cancer is spreading. He said he had no family history of cancer or colon cancer, but had battled abdominal pain for years.
“They didn’t know what it was,” Gonzalez said. “They kept saying it was ulcers or my gallbladder. They never said anything about colon cancer until I got my colonoscopy.”
Across the country, medical professionals have seen an increase in the number of young adults developing colon or rectal cancer.
According to the Colon Cancer Coalition, one in five colon cancer patients is between the ages of 20 and 54. The recommended age for screenings is now 45.
Dr. Omar Madriz, a colon and rectal surgeon at the University of Texas Physicians and Memorial Hermann advises young people to know the warning signs and get tested before age 45. If you have potential health or genetic factors, this may increase your risk.
“The biggest point in younger patients is that anyone can get colon or rectal cancer,” Dr. Madriz said. “The older the age, the higher the risk, but just because you’re young doesn’t mean you can’t get colon or rectal cancer.”
A study conducted by the American Cancer Society found that young people born after 1990 have a double risk of colon cancer and four times the risk of rectal cancer than people born in the 1950s.
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Dr Madriz said it was still unclear why there had been an increase in the number of young people being diagnosed.
“But, we know that certain factors increase the risk,” Dr. Madriz said. “Like not moving, not exercising, increasing alcohol intake, low fiber diet and increasing red meats or fatty foods. We suspect these are multifactorial factors such as genetics and the food. However, the details we don’t know.”
The Gonzalez family created a GoFundMe page to help me pay for the treatment.
You can learn more about colon and rectal cancer by visiting the Colon Caner Coalition website and the American Cancer Society website.
“Don’t ignore your symptoms,” Dr. Madriz said. “Changes in bowel habits, abdominal pain, blood in the stool should not be ignored.”
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