AURORA, Colo. -- At first, Nick Brant, a former University of Denver soccer player, thought his stomach pains were nothing to worry about.
"Probably I should have gone to the doctor earlier, but with my family's background with stomachaches, I just thought it was a food allergy," said Brant.
When the pain lasted for a full week, tough, he went to the emergency room, and eventually tests showed a stage-three tumor in his large intestine.
"I never thought it would be me with colon cancer at 25-years-old," said Brant. "They just thought it might be colitis or irritable bowel syndrome."
Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States (after lung cancer), and while overall rates have been declining a study released this week
shows a sharp increase nationally in the GenXers and millennials with the disease.
"Almost every single patient will tell you, 'I was told I was too young to have colon cancer,' so that paradigm is starting to shift." said Dr. Christopher Lieu, a gastrointestinal medical oncologist at the University of Colorado Hospital.