Matt Best, 39, was misdiagnosed with ulcers and acid reflux after complaining of stomach pain for seven years, but after blood tests doctors found a large tumor
Image: MattBest / Instagram)
One “fit and healthy” fitness enthusiast was told that his colon cancer was acid reflux – just so doctors could find a grapefruit-sized tumor in his colon.
Matt Best, 39, was misdiagnosed with ulcers and acid reflux after complaining of stomach pain for seven years alcohol and rich dishes.
But he rushed to the doctors for a blood test after feeling “extremely weak” after an exercise session, and the results showed he was anemic – an early warning sign of colon cancer.
The Brisbane sales manager, who spends his free time with wife Amanda and her dog Kali, said Daily Mail Australia : “I remember that at the time I even jokingly asked my gastroenterologist: ‘It’s not cancer, is it?’ And he said ‘at your age, very unlikely’. ”
Matt was told that he had a 4-inch tumor growing over his colon, and in April 2018, doctors told Matt that he had stage 3C colon cancer.
MattBest / Instagram)
“I was shocked, confused, numb, I had 4,000 questions,” said Matt.
“I remember just staring at a clock and not knowing what was happening.”
Matt, who was 36 at the time, was told that the cancer had spread to the tissues and lymph nodes around the colon, but not nearby organs.
He was taken to the hospital and doctors removed 30 of his lymph nodes – seven of which were cancerous.
Matt then underwent six months of FOLFOX chemotherapy that took him to the hospital every other Friday, a process that left him with a “chronic hangover” of nausea and exhaustion.
MattBest / Instagram)
He also suffered from peripheral neuropathy, which causes pain, numbness, and tingling in the limbs.
“I remember my brothers at Christmas thinking it was funny that I kept dropping my beer bottle because my fingers twitched with nerve damage,” he said.
Matt, now 39, is cancer free and says he is “really grateful to every friend and family member” for their help over the past three years.
He will continue to have colonoscopies once a year to keep an eye on his stomach health.
Colon cancer is the fourth most common form of cancer in the UK, killing at least 16,000 British people each year. Matt thinks it’s important for Brits to see their doctor and regularly discuss health concerns with friends.
“There is still such awkwardness,” he said.
“I try to lighten the mood and tell them a joke that I made up, ‘When I found out I had colon cancer, I was gutted…’. The answer is always the same, only YOU can tell this joke! “
He added, “If it doesn’t feel right, get it checked! Better still, don’t wait and get checked-ups regularly.”