'Learn From My Mistake!' Woman Thought She Had Food Poisoning But It Was Actually Colon Cancer
March 30, 2018 13:16 By Mambee
When 34-year-old Diana Zepeda first started feeling out of sorts, she assumed it was a stomach bug that would soon pass but things only got worse.
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It began with diarrhea which she began to experience two years ago. When it started, she chalked it up to her working long hours and not eating too well. Her symptoms continued to come and go and by January 2017, she began to notice blood in her stool. This was happening every other day.
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Despite all this, Diana was pretty certain that her lifestyle and eating habits were the cause. Finally, when it was starting to get dangerously worse, she went to see a gastroenterologist.
At first, the doctor gave her antibiotics as she had E.coli in her system. When that did not help, a colonoscopy was scheduled. Unfortunately, she could not get through the preparation stage as she just kept vomiting.
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The doctor then opted for a sigmoidoscopy which is a partial colonoscopy. They found out that there was a tumor blocking Diana's colon. She had Stage 4 colon cancer. Even worse, the cancer had spread to her liver. To battle the condition, parts of her colon, most of her liver, 15 to 20 lymph nodes, her appendix and gall bladder all had to be removed.
She began a short round of radiation to shrink the tumors before doctors removed the organs. Despite feeling optimistic about the treatment, the biggest lesson that Diana learned was the importance of seeing a doctor when something feels wrong.
“Stop self-diagnosing and please go to the doctor,” she warned. Her story also inspired many people to share theirs as well.
It is quite worrying that the rate of early onset colon cancer is increasing. Michael Sapienza, CEO of Colorectal Cancer Alliance, explained that while people over 50 are four times as likely to get colon cancer, the younger crowd is starting to be affected too. Here are a few symptoms that require a doctor's visit.
- Changes in bowel habits lasting more than a week
- Blood in stool
- Weight loss
- Persistent cramping
- Night sweats
While chances are you do not have colon cancer, it's always better to be safe than sorry. You are more likely to be cured if the condition is discovered as early as possible.
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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for any harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.