Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness month? Join us as we raise awareness of the importance of colorectal cancer screenings and read below as we highlight Eden Stotsky-Himelfarb, Senior Oncology Nurse Navigator at Johns Hopkins HealthCare Solutions.

Diagnosed with stage 3 rectal cancer when she was 26, Eden had been misdiagnosed since her freshman year of college, a total of eight years since the beginning of her symptoms until her actual diagnosis. She had taken many trips to the doctor’s office in hopes of finding out what was wrong, but her doctors had always brushed it off as something else. She was told to drink more water or try using different machinery in the gym. Finally, after falling to the floor from exhaustion, Eden called her Primary Care Physician and said, “something is wrong with me.” She then had an abdominal x-ray and colonoscopy, in which the doctor knew right away that it was cancer.

Eden chatted with HCAM Marketing and Business Development Manager, Jordan, about her cancer journey, colon cancer screenings, and resources in which one can learn more about colon cancer.

What is important for people to know about colon cancer screening?
“The most important thing to know is that the gold standard for screening is a colonoscopy. Many of the other tests are either incomplete or only look for blood in your stool and not actual cancer. Another thing that is extremely important is that it depends on the individual regarding when to initially get screened. The Cancer Society promotes that individuals with no risk factors should start to get screened at age 45.”

What are some great resources to learn more about colon cancer?
“Your best resource is your Primary Care provider, OBGYN, or Nurse Practitioner. Another great resource is the Colorectal Cancer Alliance, Fight Colorectal Cancer, and The Colon Club.”

Any additional information you’d like to share?
“The most common symptom is no symptom at all. You should still be screened at the appropriate age without having any risk factors.”

If you’re uninsured, HCAM can help connect you to health insurance. Reach out to us today with any questions regarding health coverage. 410-500-4710.

If you’re interested in talking with Eden, she is available as a resource and can be reached at eden@jhmi.edu.