“Cancer can’t control my mind. It can control my body and some things are out of my hands, but I control my mind and I can control if I want to be happy or not.” This incredible Warrior, Jason Diaz, who is a part of the Hope for Stomach Cancer family shares his incredible story with Spectrum News.
LOS ANGELES (Source: Spectrum News) – More young people are finding themselves at risk for stomach cancer.
Diets high in sodium and a bacteria common in Los Angeles County residents are a few reasons that put people at risk, along with genetics. One cancer patient wants everyone to know that cancer knows no age.
In between appointments Jason Diaz travels to Washington D.C. to advocate for more awareness regarding stomach cancer.
Tubes, IV drips, long periods of time sitting in one chair is Diaz’s new normal. Just one year ago he was hunched over from pain that TUMS and other antacids couldn’t fix. He went to the doctor and told the physician he knew what was wrong.
“So when I saw my primary doctor, the first thing I led in with was doctor I think I have cancer. And he looked at me, 32 years old and sitting in his chair, and he told me there’s no way you have cancer. You’re only 32-years old,” said Diaz.
Diaz was right, it turned out he has the same cancer his aunt died from years before. He is one of an increasing amount of young people who have stomach cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.
After undergoing chemotherapy Diaz had to have surgery to remove a tumor in his stomach. Eating has now become difficult for Diaz, who has to carefully choose his food and eat small meals because he no longer has a stomach.
“I have to break down the food since I don’t have a stomach, the stomach doesn’t break it down for me so I like to believe my mouth is the part of my stomach that is going to be able to break down my food,” said Diaz.
He no longer feels hungry, so has to remind himself to eat. Diaz said the surgeon took out a piece of his large intestine and fused it together with his small intestine.
“So I don’t have a stomach that catches the food. I just have a straight drop from my esophagus down to my intestine,” said Diaz.
Discussing digestion is a part of his checkups with Dr. Joseph Chao, who lists many risk factors for this type of cancer, including genetics, and salty diets. Another factor is H.Pylori,.an infection that studies show can lead to stomach cancer if untreated and many people in L.A. County have it.
“Early studies at least in California that younger Hispanic gentlemen can be affected with stomach cancer. Still don’t know why but there have been some of these statistics observed,” said Dr. Chao.
Diaz still has to meet with Dr. Chao every three months to check if the cancer has returned, but he is focused on the days ahead.
“Cancer can’t control my mind. It may have control over my body and there are some things that are out of my hand. But I control my mind. And I control If I want to be happy or not. I have a lot to look forward to. I have a beautiful wife who I get to go home to every single day,” said Diaz.
See the Full Video Interview here: https://spectrumnews1.com/ca/la-west/news/2019/08/08/growing-number-of-young-people-as-risk-for-stomach-cancer#