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ekkidee t1_itugk3e wrote

Gastric cancer, and only 35. Damn. Terrible blow for family and community.


lc1138 t1_itv04ut wrote

The worst thing about stomach cancer (like some other cancers) are that the symptoms are so similar to less serious health issues. A lot of the time people don’t know anything is seriously wrong until it’s too late :(


SenTedStevens t1_itvhv56 wrote

And most doctors will blow you off as having food insensitivity/allergies/IBS/whatnot until one day you end up hospitalized and find out it's terminal.


[deleted] t1_itvl8o6 wrote

Yes, because nine times out of 10, the vague symptoms correspond to a benign condition, and you would on average do more harm than good to patients if you aggressively workup every stomach ache that walks into your office. It sucks, but some conditions are just really hard to detect until they are advanced enough to cause severe problems and are hard to treat at that point.


lc1138 t1_itvlevm wrote

That’s not an excuse for doctors to blow off patients who complain about chronic gastro problems that are similar to IBS/GERD/Crohn’s


[deleted] t1_itvnjxz wrote

They're not "blowing off patients." Medicine has guidelines for who needs additional work-up based on research; it's not appropriate to do endoscopic biopsy on everyone who is theoretically at risk for early stage stomach cancer based on the non-specific symptoms. Out of 100 people, you might catch 1 case early but you've just subjected 100 people to an invasive procedure, stressed each of them out for 4 weeks waiting for biopsy results to come back, and like 5 of them will have a surgical complication, bad reaction to anesthesia, or pick up an infection in the hospital solely because you put them through a procedure that had a 99% chance of not helping them in any way.

Science illiterate people just can't comprehend the idea that sometimes a doctor can make the right decision but some patients will be unlucky and still have a bad outcome. Medicine is based on statistics, not a magic ball that can predict the future for individual patients.


EurekasCashel t1_itvo96r wrote

I agree with your point completely, but I'd just like to add that the guidelines will work for more than 99% of people. Gastric cancer is not common. IBS is incredibly common.


[deleted] t1_itvutaq wrote

The problem is the guidelines "work" in the sense you correctly figure out they don't have anything more serious and avoid any iatrogenic complications from aggressively trying to diagnose something that isn't there. The patients understandably continue to feel anxious and are constantly in pain because there aren't really great IBS treatments. So it basically seems from their perspective like the guidelines don't work, which is frustrating for everyone when they come back every month asking for further work-up when no further tests would really be appropriate to offer them.


lc1138 t1_itvoqmf wrote

Sheesh I wasn’t saying to put everyone through a endoscopic biopsy, obviously that’s ridiculous. Get off your high horse


[deleted] t1_itvrzm4 wrote

That's literally the only thing that could have possibly caught this early. If you are lucky, you can see a small lesion, biopsy it, and figure out it is cancer before it would cause any symptoms that really scream "cancer". Even then, catching it early wouldn't have 100% guaranteed you could treat it and prevent her death. Some types of cancer are just really resistant to chemo and/or metastasize quickly.


lc1138 t1_itw06sa wrote

So are you saying the majority of people with stomach cancer will most likely not get diagnosed until it’s too late because it’s not appropriate to biopsy everyone? Therefore too bad so sad, deal with it?


[deleted] t1_itw45be wrote

Yep, it's unfortunately just a limitation of medicine currently; there is not an easy way to tell "good" cells from cancerous ones without performing a biopsy. It is unacceptably dangerous to biopsy someone's stomach when they have mild GI symptoms because >99% of them won't have cancer. It's just how it is; you or I could also be walking around with advanced pancreatic cancer or an early brain cancer right now, but there isn't anything we can do about it with the current state of medical knowledge.


lc1138 t1_itw8yug wrote

This is taking it in another direction, but do you think there’s any truth to the claim that we’ll never have a cure for cancer because the pharmaceutical industry makes too much money off it? Like just baffles me that this is the way it is sigh


[deleted] t1_itwpw37 wrote

There has been an explosion in neat novel anti-cancer agents that are basically synthetic antibodies that target specific cell receptors on cancer cells, exorbitantly expensive for the most part of course. Patients generally aren't on the same cancer drug for years at a time. It's more profitable to try to discover some new drug that actually cures them so you are selling the $400,000 first choice drug whenever a patient has melanoma with a certain gene mutation for example. You need to "win" outright and kill essentially all of the cancer cells so the patient goes into remission; if the tumor starts to resist the drug or develops a bunch of new mutations, the oncologist will need to switch to something else if your drug is clearly not working.

The real pharmaceutical scam is meds for things like GERD and hypertension where you find a new drug that is debatably 2% better, market it directly to patients on TV, then charge Medicare 10 times as much as the old drug while 20% of the US population takes it.


legitsh1t t1_itwki57 wrote

I mean, yes, that's statistically true. Gastric cancer is often caught too late in the course to do much about it, specifically because it's so rare and so similar to many benign conditions that can be treated non-invasively.


SenTedStevens t1_itvn6dz wrote

Yeah, but that's a garbage explanation if you're a doctor and have the same patient coming to your office with the same issues repeatedly and simply dismiss them. 9/10 times it may be something benign, but if someone keeps coming in they should at least try more advanced diagnostics. And doctors love giving non-specific diagnosis like IBS or some kind of -itis. Oh, you're having stomach aches/shitting weirdly or have some kind of inflammation, just deal with it and/or take extra Aleve.


[deleted] t1_itvqz9v wrote

If someone comes in every month for a stomach ache and there is nothing else wrong with them (no hematemesis, no weight loss, no blood work abnormalities, nothing on imaging), it would absolutely be malpractice to send them for an unnecessary (surgical) work-up just because they are repeatedly requesting it.

In a lot of cases, the gastroenterologist will actually make more money if they just perform the endoscopy even when it is not indicated, but any good doctor will refuse to perform a procedure unless they think the likely benefit to that patient outweighs the potential harm. There is nothing wrong with getting a 2nd opinion, but if two doctors are both saying "based on your current symptoms, I don't think there is anything serious/treatable, let's hold off on anything drastic," then the absolute worst thing you can do is go to a 3rd, 4th, 5th doctor until you find one who will do surgery when it is way more likely to harm you than find some sort of treatable root cause.


RadsCatMD t1_itwfi5u wrote

I'm not sure if that's necessarily true. As part of a workup for chronic GI symptoms that are nonresponsive to standard therapy, I can see some causes that might only be clearly evident with direct visualization. Strictures, HPylori sampling / ulcers, gastroesophagitis, malignancies, inflammatory bowel typically require endoscopy. Point remains though, this is for patients who have undergone reasonable workup in a step wise fashion, usually with lifestyle changes and medications beforehand.


[deleted] t1_itwkx1x wrote

That's fair. Let's be honest though. The average patient who sees their doctor every month for IBS has probably already had at least one unremarkable EGD. My point was, if your GI doc is telling you he doesn't want to scope you (again), there is almost definitely some medical reason, rather than him just wanting patients to suffer and not receive medical care.


CanaKitty t1_itx7i1t wrote

Yep. Especially if you’re a woman and a person of color. Very slim chance a doctor will take you seriously unless you get very lucky with what doctor you get.


swampoodler t1_itugqjw wrote

I hate cancer.

Literally the worst.



not_a_gumby t1_itus0k1 wrote

I don't know what I'd do when faced with my own mortality at such a young age. I'm only a few years younger than her. you really don't think about dying often enough to understand such a situation. must be tough for her family.


haroldhecuba88 t1_itumo66 wrote

This is horrible. So early and so unfair. RIP and prayers to the family.


tyrannosaurus_r t1_itvq8d2 wrote

God, this is awful. And, seriously, something's up with digestive cancers-- it feels like a lot more young people are getting them, which is an extremely disconcerting thought.


JayV30 t1_itw9mkp wrote

Maybe it's the credit card amount of plastic we ingest weekly.


SenTedStevens t1_itvqpp6 wrote

And autoimmune diseases in general. Every time I go to a bar/restaurant, the TV is filled with drug commercials to treat these symptoms. There's something nasty in our environment and foods.


MintyLacroix t1_itw982r wrote

Is it a mystery? We eat pure trash, and our environment is filled with microplastics and chemicals like Teflon. Eating healthy, natural foods is a luxury in this country, which is kind of funny, since it's kind of the opposite in poor countries. Weird reversal.

It's not a wild leap to guess that letting our bodies get filled with foreign microplastics might send our auto-immune system into overdrive.


kallie412 t1_ity3zbd wrote

a lot of autoimmune illnesses/chronic illnesses are also hereditary or commorbidic of each other as well.


k032 t1_itut78o wrote

That's so sad.

Just also one of the worst kinds of cancer affecting how you can eat and your whole digestive system.


Dia-Burrito t1_itvkpic wrote

Oh no! I read The Lily, it's such a good newsletter. My condolences to the family:-(


[deleted] t1_itwn16v wrote



fuckingbitchasspunk t1_itzhx6g wrote

They really aren't. Average life expectancy is up about double in the last century and a half.


HealthcareZeros t1_iuhfym1 wrote

Very sad but the younger people I've seen dying or very sick usually have cancer, pregnancy complications, or issues from uncontrolled high blood pressure. Please, please, please, go to your yearly physicals even if you "feel fine."

In DC/NOVA, so many people work out and eat healthy but are heavy drinkers. Alcohol is a huge cancer risk factor and the causal drinking culture definitely adds risk.


[deleted] t1_ituo5xg wrote



d1dzter t1_ituq605 wrote

Judging from your comment history, it seems like you are prone to negative thinking and bias. I suggest you take some time to be both considerate and informed about the types of posts you make.


Formergr t1_itupeba wrote

Really? What made you feel now is the time for this kind of comment?


benji950 t1_itupt3q wrote

What makes them think anytime is appropriate for that kind of ignorant shit?