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Woman Thought Her Tummy Troubles Were Due to Poor Diet, Ends Up Having Cancer

One young woman on the go chalked up her stomach problems to a bad diet. The 34-year-old woman was practically living off food from food trucks and take-out, so she thought her frequent diarrhea was caused by eating too many greasy meals.

After two whole years of ignoring the problem, she finally decided to go to her doctor for a check-up. She was shocked to learn that it wasn't her diet causing the discomfort-- she had cancer.

Diana Zepeda always bragged that she had a 'stomach of steel', and she admits she didn't make the greatest food choices. But when she started getting diarrhea, cramps and gas, she thought that her stomach of steel was weakening.

She assumed her poor diet was behind the discomfort, so she began eating healthier. She cut down on sugar, grains and dairy and expected the stomach troubles to go away.

No such luck. Not only were the stomach problems not going away, but they were getting worse. A gastroenterologist sent her for tests, which initially came back showing a bacterial infection. She was given antibiotics.

Still no luck. A more thorough exam revealed something troubling: stage 4 colon cancer. The young woman was shocked-- she didn't even have a history of colon cancer in her family.

“After the initial shock and disbelief, my first thoughts were, ‘What did I do wrong to get this?’ Because I think everyone thinks of colon cancer as an old people’s disease,” Zepeda says. “I thought, ‘Was it all the microwaved Pop-Tarts I ate in college? Or all the microwave Lean Cuisines? Like, what did I do to cause this?’”

Zepeda spent the next six months undergoing chemotherapy. She also had to have a series of surgeries to remove the large tumor blocking her colon. The cancer had spread to her liver as well, and things looked grim.

“I didn’t have the strength to walk for almost an entire month. I was bedridden. The hardest part was definitely chemo … After the very first treatment, I was ready to quit. I felt really depressed and really isolated. I was like, ‘I can’t do this. I’ve already gone through enough. I can’t do six months of this,'" she told people.

Thankfully, Zepeda seems to be recovering. She has completed chemo, and while she still has more surgeries in her future, her prognosis is good and she's getting back to living life.

She's now trying to warn other people not to diagnose themselves. When something seems wrong, go to the doctor, she recommends.

According to the American Cancer Society, more and more people under 50 are being diagnosed with colon cancer. The number of cases for younger people has quadrupled in less than 30 years. Overall, there has been a sharp rise in colon and rectal cancers.

The earlier it's found, easier it will usually be to treat. In fact, with screenings, if doctors find polyps, they can be removed before they become cancerous.

“Educational campaigns are needed to alert clinicians and the general public about this increase to help reduce delays in diagnosis, which are so prevalent in young people, but also to encourage healthier eating and more active lifestyles to try to reverse this trend," said Rebecca Siegel, MPH, Strategic Director of Surveillance Information Services in the Intramural Research Department at the American Cancer Society

Source: Yahoo
Photos: People

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