24-Year-Old Florida Nurse, Bailey Mcbreen, Diagnosed With Stage 3 Cancer After She Overlooked Continuous Burping

By Aleena in Health and Fitness On 4th May 2023

Bailey McBreen, a compassionate nurse from the Sunshine State of Florida, had her life turned upside down when she received a devastating diagnosis in 2021.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

After experiencing a seemingly harmless symptom of burping 10 times daily, she was ultimately diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer.

At first, she brushed off the burping as nothing out of the ordinary, but it was a warning sign that her body was trying to send her.

Unfortunately, her symptoms worsened, progressing to acid reflux and debilitating stomach cramps.

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Despite having an active and healthy lifestyle that involved regular visits to the gym, the 24-year-old in question was astute enough to recognize that something was amiss.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

She was attuned to her body and quickly realized that her continuous burping was not a run-of-the-mill symptom.

"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."

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"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.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

"But I honestly didn't think too much of it. I never thought it could be linked to such a horrible disease."

Bailey's journey with cancer has been a challenging one. After undergoing emergency surgery in January, she is now undergoing chemotherapy to treat her stage 3 colon cancer. Her treatment is expected to continue until the end of August.

She had been experiencing burping since last year, but she initially dismissed it as nothing to worry about.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

Unfortunately, this symptom progressed to acid reflux, and her doctors attributed it to anxiety, which delayed her diagnosis.

Eventually, her symptoms became more severe, with a loss of appetite and excruciating pain.

As an experienced nurse, Bailey instinctively sensed that something was obstructing her insides. A CT scan revealed that she had a tumor growing in her colon.

Bailey's diagnosis of stage three colon cancer at 24 was a complete shock to her. Like many people, she never imagined that vague symptoms could be a sign of such a serious illness.

In an interview with NeedToKnow.co.uk, Bailey expressed her disbelief, saying, "Never in a million years did I think that any vague symptom I had was actually stage three colon cancer."

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

She added, “I remember the first thing I could say was, ‘I am not ready to die.’ “

Colon cancer is relatively rare in young adults, with only two cases per 100,000 diagnosed yearly.

"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."

Bailey's diagnosis in January was just the beginning of her cancer journey.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

She soon learned that the tumor was located in the transverse colon, which is situated just beneath other organs in the abdominal cavity.

This location made it particularly challenging to treat and increased the severity of her symptoms.

As Bailey explained, the tumor was causing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a painful condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms.

The tumor was also causing a complete bowel obstruction, making it difficult for Bailey to go to the bathroom and causing severe pain.

She said: "GERD was a symptom in my case because my tumour was slowly causing a complete bowel obstruction.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

"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."

Bailey McBreen has shown remarkable strength and resilience in the face of her diagnosis. Despite the shock and fear that naturally come with a cancer diagnosis, she has decided not to let the disease defeat her.

Jam Press/Bailey McBreen

The courageous woman hopes to use her saga as a cautionary tale on the dangers of ignoring unusual symptoms.

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."

“I didn’t think anything of my burping, because it was a ‘normal’ thing. It’s important to listen to your body.”