30-year-old Salem Hills high school teacher diagnosed with stage four rectal cancer

SPANISH FORK, Utah — A 30-year-old teacher from Salem Hills high school is asking to bring awareness to colorectal cancer after being diagnosed with stage four of the disease.

Woodshop teacher Gregg Wilson went to the doctor’s for unrelated reasons and two weeks later came back with a stage four rectal cancer diagnosis, a press release said.

The cancer is normally reserved for 50-to-60-year-old men, so Wilson’s case is rare, but shouldn’t go unnoticed, according to the press release.

According to researchers, Wilson is just one among a rising number of the next generation to have rectal cancer. Each year millennials’ risk of rectal cancer increases by three percent, according to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

“Life sneaks up on you with surprises sometimes, and not always the ones you can anticipate. Without friends and family this would be tough, but without [God] and an [eternal perspective] it would be impossible,” Wilson and his family said in the press release.

According to the American Cancer Society, stage four rectal cancer is the most destructive form of cancer and may have spread to other tissues such as the liver or lungs.

Signs and Symptoms of Colorectal Cancer from the American Cancer Society:

  • A change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea, constipation, or narrowing of the stool, that lasts for more than a few days

  • A feeling that you need to have a bowel movement that is not relieved by having one

  • Rectal bleeding with bright red blood

  • Blood in the stool, which may make the stool look dark

  • Cramping or abdominal (belly) pain

  • Weakness and fatigue

  • Unintended weight loss