A 24-year-old was recently diagnosed with cancer after she overlooked the unusual symptom of continuous burping.
Bailey McBreen, a nurse from Florida, discovered she had stage 3 colon cancer in 2021, after she started burping 10 times a day – something she had initially thought nothing of.
She suffered from abnormal symptoms which later progressed to acid reflux and stomach cramps.
Even after having an active healthy lifestyle, that included multiple gym visits a week, the 24-year-old was quick enough to realise that something was ‘wrong’.
“I worked out 5-6 times a week consistently for at least 14 months,” she said.
“The first sign something was wrong – although I didn’t know it at the time – was when I began excessively burping.”
“I would burp 5-10 times a day. This was not normal for me. I actually rarely ever burped before and that is why I noticed how weird it was.
“But I honestly didn’t think too much of it. I never thought it could be linked to such a horrible disease.”
Having underwent emergency surgery in January, Bailey will receive Chemotherapy until the end of August.
She confirmed that the burping started last year, but she ignored the basic symptoms until it progressed to painful acid reflux, which was later dismissed as anxiety by her doctors.
Bailey had suddenly lost her appetite and was unable to go to the bathroom due to the excruciating pain.
As an experienced nurse, she felt an ‘obstruction’ going on inside her body and found out it was tumour growing in her colon after a CT scan.
In a complete state of shock, Bailey told NeedToKnow.co.uk: “Never in a million years did I think that any vague symptom I had was actually stage three colon cancer.”
It is a rare cancer for someone of Bailey’s age and affects just two per 100,000 a year.
“It truly was an out-of-body experience. I felt like I was sitting in the corner of the room watching myself be diagnosed. Time felt like it slowed down and my heart rate sped up. I was in a complete state of shock.”
Following her diagnosis in January, she discovered that the tumour was located higher in the transverse colon, which is located just beneath the other organs in the abdominal cavity.
According to Bailey, the tumour caused the onset of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and was causing complete bowel obstruction.
She said: “GERD was a symptom in my case because my tumour was slowly causing a complete bowel obstruction.
“As a result, my food was not completely digesting and was getting ‘trapped’ above my tumour, causing my reflux and burping.
“Excessive burping isn’t your textbook sign of colon cancer but my oncologist told me that it was likely the start of my symptoms.”
Despite the shocking diagnosis, McBreen has decided that she will not let the cancer win.
She said: “I refuse to let it define me.
“I am doing everything I can humanly do to fight this disease.
“I have switched over to completely non-toxic living – all of my beauty products, household cleaning supplies, and cookware are nontoxic.
“Cancer does not discriminate. Anything that is new to you, even if it’s otherwise considered a normal thing, needs to be addressed.”