Have you ever brushed off minor symptoms, thinking they were nothing to worry about? What if I told you that these seemingly harmless signs could actually be a warning of something life-threatening? That’s exactly what Bailey McBreen, a young nurse from Florida, discovered. Her persistent burping turned out to be a shocking indication of late-stage colon cancer.

At just 25 years old in 2021, McBreen started experiencing frequent burping, up to 10 times a day. Initially, she dismissed it as a minor issue. However, when the burping progressed to acid reflux and severe stomach cramps, she became concerned. Seeking medical attention turned out to be a turning point for Bailey and her family when she received the staggering diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer.

“I started burping excessively, around 5-10 times a day. This was not normal for me,” reflected McBreen on the initial sign that something was wrong. As her health rapidly declined, she suffered excruciating pain, loss of appetite, and difficulties with bowel movements. Trusting her instincts as a nurse, McBreen turned to the hospital for answers. A CT scan revealed a tumor obstructing her large intestine, confirming the stage 3 colon cancer diagnosis.

“It truly felt surreal. The first thing I could say was, ‘I am not ready to die,’” expressed McBreen in astonishment at the diagnosis. “Never in a million years did I think that any vague symptom I had was actually stage 3 colon cancer.” McBreen believes that her nonstop burping was connected to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which developed a month after she noticed the excessive burping.

“While excessive burping isn’t typically associated with colon cancer, my oncologist informed me that it was likely the start of my symptoms,” McBreen shared. “GERD played a significant role in my case because my tumor was gradually causing a complete bowel obstruction.”

Recognizing the importance of awareness, she now encourages others to listen to their bodies and seek medical advice if something feels off.

Following her diagnosis, McBreen underwent emergency surgery to remove the tumor. Currently, she is undergoing chemotherapy until the end of August. By sharing her story, she hopes to raise awareness about colon cancer, which is the third most common cancer worldwide, after lung and breast cancers.

This shocking revelation serves as a reminder that we should never ignore persistent symptoms, especially if they deviate from our normal health. Your body has a way of telling you when something isn’t right. Trust your instincts, seek medical advice, and be aware of the signs that something deeper may be going on.