NBC News correspondent Antonia Hylton has revealed that she was diagnosed with a rare neuroendocrine tumor, according to .
Despite initially attributing her constant stomach issues to her frequent travels, she decided to take her symptoms seriously after watching a segment on colon cancer and a TikTok video about a woman who was diagnosed with colon cancer at 24.
"I travel, I'm on planes (and) maybe I don't have the best diet. But I love what I do, so it's worth it and I'm not going to let these symptoms hold me back," Hylton said.
However, as her symptoms intensified, she was impacted by a segment on the "TODAY" show segment where Craig Melvin recounted his brother's death due to colon cancer. “It really stuck with me," she said.
The journalist had been waking up with her face swollen and was having trouble “going to the bathroom for days on end.”
Concerned about her family's history of colon cancer and the fact that African Americans have the highest incidences of colon cancer in the U.S, Hylton sought a specialist and underwent a colonoscopy.
On her 30th birthday, she learned about a polyp that turned out to be a neuroendocrine tumor.
According to the Mayo Clinic, neuroendocrine tumors are cancers that start in the neuroendocrine cells and have characteristics similar to nerve and hormone-producing cells.
Hylton shared, "I was panicking." Luckily, her doctor and gastroenterologist, Dr. Nooshin Hosseini, caught the tumor early.
Hosseini highlighted on the “TODAY” show that neuroendocrine tumors, while able to develop anywhere in the body, are most frequently found in the gastrointestinal tract, particularly the small intestine. Symptoms similar to colon cancer, include blood in the stool, changes in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, and fatigue.
Hylton underwent procedures to remove tissue, and subsequent screenings revealed no further signs of cancer.
Reflecting on her experience, she emphasized the importance of listening to her body, prioritizing health, and acknowledging her family's health history.
“I learned a really important lesson at 30 to listen to myself and to put myself first.” Hylton went on to say, "I love my job. I worked hard here at NBC, and I'm not going to stop doing that. But I've learned the lesson that I really need to put my health first and not push these things off."
Her family history includes colon cancer on her father's side, and on her mother's side, her grandmother had a neuroendocrine tumor. Hylton expressed gratitude for her family's openness about health matters, providing her valuable information and awareness.
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