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Colorectal Cancer Patient Stories

Alan Stachura

Colorectal Cancer

Alan Stachura

Colorectal Cancer

Alan Stachura practically grew up at Fox Chase Cancer Center, as both his parents were treated there for cancer. Alan thought he would one day get cancer but that it wouldn't be until he was well in his 60s. However, Alan learned in 2010, at the age of 30, that he had colon cancer. Alan chose the least-invasive procedure possible, which was to remove the polyp, which turned out to be malignant. Alan also tested positive for Lynch Syndrome, and, as a result, he encouraged his siblings to be tested as well through Fox Chase's Risk Assessment Program. While Alan's brother tested negatove, his sister tested positive. Today, Alan is feeling good, but continues his regular checkups at Fox Chase to ensure the cancer does not return. "If you think there is a risk of cancer in your family, there probably is," he said. "The genetic counselors at Fox Chase's Risk Assessment Program provide valuable information and guidance. I recommend them to anyone with a strong family history of cancer."

Brooke Fuller

Colorectal Cancer

Brooke Fuller

Colorectal Cancer

Brooke Fuller enjoys working as a floral designer. She and her husband, Scott, are parents to one five-year-old son, Pierce. In January, 2014, at age 30, Brooke was diagnosed with stage 2 colorectal cancer.

Deborah Dahl

Colorectal Cancer;  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

Deborah Dahl

Colorectal Cancer;  Liver, Gall Bladder & Bile Duct Cancer

When Deborah Dahl recalls being in her late 20s and single in 1992, it's probably not what you would expect. After experiencing stomach pains, she went to her doctor, who ordered a colonoscopy.

The colonoscopy results were alarming. At the young age of 29, Deborah had colon cancer.

She had the cancer surgically removed at her local hospital. Unfortunately, during the surgery, doctors found the cancer had spread to her liver.

Robert Crossfield

Colorectal Cancer;  Kidney Cancer

Robert Crossfield

Colorectal Cancer;  Kidney Cancer

Robert Crossfield, a 30-year firefighter who was among the team of first responders to the 9/11 disaster where he assisted at Ground Zero, is a survivor of renal and colon cancer and metastatic sarcoma, an aggressive form of cancer. Bob sought treatment at Fox Chase Cancer Center, where he was put under the care of Dr. Margaret von Mehren, Dr. Penny Anderson, Dr. Rosalia Viterbo, and Dr. Jeffrey Farma, as well as reconstructive surgeon Dr. Sameer Patel. After undergoing chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, Bob is now cancer free. "I've had aggressive cancers, and multiple cancers, but today I feel healthy again,” Bob said. “This is a battle I'll never give up because I have way too much yet to see and to live for. ...I feel very grateful that we chose Fox Chase to guide us and be with us all the way through this trying time for our family.”

Mary Carr

Colorectal Cancer

Mary Carr

Colorectal Cancer

I started feeling ill in January 2011. My stomach was constantly upset and I couldn’t hold down food. My local doctor said I had the flu, but my weight continued to decrease over the next several months. That doctor sent me to an internist, who also could not find the cause of my illness. In May, the internist ordered a colonoscopy.

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