Brenda Karper loves life and her granddaughters. They are what gets her out of bed in the morning, she says. She has a lot to fight for, so she's undergoing multiple surgeries and treatments for her small bowel cancer... so many surgeries, in fact, she jokes that they should just "put a zipper in!"
Her positive attitude and sense of humor have helped her face this disease, yet she allows herself to have what she calls "pity parties" for herself. She has a good cry out in the garden, and then she picks herself up and faces the world again. Watch her story in the video below.
Risk factors for small intestine cancer include the following (from the NCI):
- Eating a high-fat diet.
- Having Crohn disease.
- Having celiac disease.
- Having familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP).
Possible signs of small intestine cancer include abdominal pain and unexplained weight loss. These and other symptoms may be caused by small intestine cancer or by other conditions. A doctor should be consulted if any of the following problems occur (from the NCI):
- Pain or cramps in the middle of the abdomen.
- Weight loss with no known reason.
- A lump in the abdomen.
- Blood in the stool.