After experiencing severe rectal bleeding and anemia, Jennifer Edens Simmons knew she needed a colonoscopy. Despite her doctor’s doubts that anything was seriously wrong, Jennifer had a precancerous polyp removed during a partially-completed colonoscopy.
After six months she was finally given a full colonoscopy, which discovered a tumor. Following surgery and chemotherapy to treat stage II colon cancer, Jennifer, now 39, has been cancer-free for over two years.
As a teacher, Jennifer understands the importance of education at an early age. She believes that explanations of preventable diseases such as colorectal cancer should be taught in biology and health classes at the middle and high school levels. She hopes that one day soon, young people will learn as much about colorectal cancer as they do about other preventable diseases such as lung cancer and AIDS.
Since her diagnosis, Jennifer has become an active member of the Association of Online Cancer Resources (ACOR), a free online service that provides information and support to anyone affected by cancer and related disorders.