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Colorado man fights colon cancer in his 20s; now wants to be a doctor to help others

Nick Brant knows what it's like to be a patient
Posted at 4:45 PM, Dec 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-20 20:47:36-05

DENVER -- After he fought for his life, Nick Brant is on a journey to raise awareness and make a difference in the lives of cancer patients.

Brant was 25-years-old when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. The former Division I athlete was shocked. He played soccer since age 3 and was always very active. He thought he was healthy.

"I would have stomach aches but they would be pretty infrequent," said Brant.

One stomach ache was so severe it sent him to the emergency room in the spring of 2016. Doctors performed a CT scan and told him to see a specalist. When Brant went in for a colonoscopy he said he was by far the youngest person in the room. Test results reveled he had a tumor and it was cancerous.

Surgeons removed the tumor and a foot of his colon; six months of chemo would come next.

"There were so many emotions and there was so much going on at the time, I didn't know if it had spread or anything like that," said Brant.

His story reflects a disturbing trend. Researchers with the American Cancer Society found a sharp increase in colorectal cancer for people ages 20-29. If the cancer is caught early, the chance of curing it is high. Brant knows he is lucky.

"I just had a CT about a month ago and it was all clear," said Brant.

He's now focused on the next chapter — getting into medical school. Brant always wanted to be a doctor and is even more determined to help others after beating cancer. He wants to pursue oncology because he thinks his personal experience could help patients during an extremely difficult time.

"I think it's tremendously changed my perspective not only wanting to be a doctor but kind of understanding what a patient goes through," said Brant.