by Giordano Beretta
The case of an American nurse who, after being diagnosed with stage 3 cancer, wanted to inform other people by describing annoying burping as the first peculiar symptom she noticed
A 24-year-old Florida nurse told media she discovered stage three colon cancer when she went to the doctor complaining of constant and unusual belching spells. Could it be true or a hoax?
Answers Giordano Beretta, director of Medical Oncology in breaking latest news and president of the Aiom Foundation (Italian Association of Medical Oncology) which manages the FORUM chemioterapia by Corriere Salute.
In reality, belching is not one of the first typical signs of the presence of colon cancer (see the main symptoms HERE, ed). In the case of the young American, gastroesophageal reflux, loss of appetite and constipation were soon added, which led to a CAT scan which revealed a large tumor blocking her intestines.
What can be useful about this story is rather the importance of not neglecting symptoms, even if they are not very specific (such as belching, which for the girl was an unusual thing), especially if they last for weeks and have no explanation. Even in young people, because cases of colorectal cancer before the age of 50 are on the rise (especially in the United States, but also in Italy) and children often arrive late at diagnosis because they ignore the first signs.
The four symptoms
There are four important symptoms not to be overlooked because they could make it possible to detect early cancer, even two years earlier than happens in most cases: frequent and persistent diarrhea, blood loss (bright red, together with the faeces or not) , abdominal pain that continues and persists for long periods, anemia. There is no reason to panic if these ailments occur, which could also signal the presence of other less serious and more widespread pathologies, the fact that not ignoring the alarm bells can save your life because the first one discovers a possible neoplasm, the greater the chances of being cured definitively and of receiving less invasive therapies.
Foods to avoid
In particular, people who are more likely to get sick should be careful: overweight, obesity, poor diet and sedentary lifestyle are among the main risk factors for this cancer. Dietary factors such as the consumption of red meats and sausages, refined flours and sugars and the consumption of salted, preserved or smoked foods increase the danger, such as excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking. Finally, many studies in recent years, also in Europe, have correlated ultra-processed foods (especially meat and sweetened drinks) with the onset of colorectal cancer.
July 13, 2023 (change July 13, 2023 | 08:08)
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