A woman diagnosed with colon cancer said her symptoms completely disappeared after giving birth.
Jennaca Russ, 37, began experiencing blood in her stool and anemia (lack of enough healthy red blood cells) in her second trimester of pregnancy.
Russ, who is a nurse, noticed the problem and visited a doctor who assured her that her symptoms were caused by the pregnancy. She then scheduled a colonoscopy, a test to check the inside of her intestines, for November 2022.
After giving birth to their first child in October 2022, Russ’s symptoms subsided. As a result, she did not feel the need to go to her appointment, but her mother advised her otherwise.
Russ attended his colonoscopy and was diagnosed with colon cancer. He was told that she had a 10 percent chance of survival.
The nurse from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, told SWNS: “It was a pretty dark day for us, I got the news two or three days before Thanksgiving.”
“At first they thought it would be stage one or two, but the next day I had a CT scan where we found it had spread to my liver.
“Going into the holidays, I thought it would be my last with my family, but it was also a first for my baby.”
The nurse said she was in her second trimester when she started experiencing blood in her stool, but doctors told her it was caused by internal hemorrhoids, lumps in and around her butt.
Russ said of the diagnosis: “It was devastating to talk to my doctor and he told me I had a year to live.
“After Thanksgiving, I had an appointment with an oncologist that changed my prognosis.
“He said that I am years old, but it will be a long fight as the survival rate is low.
“I have a 10 percent chance of living five years,” he added.
Russ attended an MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in December. Russ said: “The doctors there said they think they can remove my liver tumors.
“I had colon cancer surgery at the end of February, they said the cure rate is around 40 percent, which is light years ahead of what they told me before.
“The doctors are still deciding when they will operate on my liver.”
Since being diagnosed, Russ has received four rounds of chemotherapy to help shrink the tumors before the operation.
Russ said: “It’s been very emotional, the start was very tough.
“I want people to be aware to advocate for themselves, colon cancer in younger people is increasing dramatically.
“Since I talk about my story I have met many people in the same situation as me.”
Russ lost her job as a nurse due to her illness and a GoFundMe page was set up to help pay for her cancer treatments. So far the Page has raised $29,598 (£24,616) of the $50,000 (£41,585) goal.
Additional SWNS reports.