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Woman, 25, rushed to hospital with stomach pain and found to have terminal cancer

Madison Baloy is having to adjust to the new normal, since this type of cancer cannot be cured, only managed. Picture: Instagram

Madison Baloy is having to adjust to the new normal, since this type of cancer cannot be cured, only managed. Picture: Instagram

Published May 18, 2023


Madison Baloy's life changed forever when she was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma, a type of cancer that forms in the glandular tissue.

Adenocarcinoma is a type of cancer that arises from glandular cells that secrete mucus and other substances. These cells are found in many organs of the body, including the lungs, pancreas, colon and prostate.

Adenocarcinoma can affect both men and women and can develop in different parts of the body. The treatment and prognosis for adenocarcinoma depend on its location and how advanced it is at the time of diagnosis.

It's hard to forget when it all started, as she had been to a music concert with her friends in June 2022, and felt her stomach aching. Over the next year, she noticed she had lost 60lb0s ( which is roughly 27kg), and her tummy pain became tougher to handle, but like many of us, she didn't think anything of it.

Madison Baloy: “to be lucky enough to wrap my arms around the entire universe and be held by it in return, and to have it be more than enough🤍”. Picture: Instagram

It wasn't until one day, while teaching in her classroom, that Madison started feeling nauseous and called in the school nurse. The nurse urged her to go to the emergency room, where after a series of tests, she was told she might have cancer.

Soon after, she underwent a CT scan at HCA Florida Brandon Hospital in the US, and her fears came to life as she was told she had stage four adenocarcinoma.

Madison's diagnosis has left a permanent mark on her life, as her cancer can only be managed, but not cured. She'll be living with the disease for the rest of her life. As the news of the diagnosis processed, she felt scared, she felt overwhelmed.

“The biggest struggle has been my body image because I was happy and healthy," Baloy told Independent UK.

She adds, “When I first started losing weight, I thought it was God answering my prayers.

“I thought the universe was giving me the perfect body – but I was dying and none of us knew.

“I was 25-years-old – I was in my prime, I was teaching, making good money, going out with my friends – I felt amazing,” she said.

Baloy's diagnosis changed everything.

“Then it all flipped and now I have no hair and all these scars on my stomach from the surgery,” she shared.

Baloy receives treatment and care at Florida Cancer Specialists where she is under the guidance of a dedicated team of oncologists. Baloy’s prognosis involves long-term management of her condition which includes a daily pill regimen and regular check-ups. She undergoes chemotherapy every three weeks, and the treatment has been instrumental in maintaining the cancer’s stability.

“I will have this forever – the best outcome long-term is that I will be able to live and take a pill every day and just go in for regular appointments.

“It is hard, it is super hard. The hardest part is the reality shift I have had, but it hasn’t got me down as much as I thought it would.

“I am doing chemotherapy every three weeks and it has been working, in the sense that it’s keeping my cancer at bay," she said.

Read the latest issue of IOL Health digital magazine here.