Spotlight: St. Luke’s University Health Network

Overcoming Colorectal Cancer with Expert St. Luke’s Help

JoAnn Farley flashes a loving smile every time she holds her daughter Skylar, who she calls her miracle baby. Skyler was born two years to the day JoAnn rang the bell to finish cancer treatment.

JoAnn was diagnosed with colorectal cancer when she was 30 years old, a rare occurrence for someone so young. Colorectal cancer is the fourth-most diagnosed cancer in the U.S. and the fourth-most cause of cancer deaths.

St. Luke’s is a regional leader in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of colon cancer with a dedicated, compassionate team of gastroenterologists, surgeons and cancer specialists committed to providing high quality care and advanced treatment options.

“Early detection proved invaluable for JoAnn’s success,” said Chatargy Kaza, MD, JoAnn’s gastroenterologist with St. Luke’s. “St. Luke’s surgeons were able to completely remove the cancer, and that’s the most important thing.”

People with symptoms such as changes in bowel habits, blood in the stool or abdominal pain need to be evaluated with a colonoscopy.

“The screening recommendations have changed from age 50 to 45 in the last roughly two years,” said Jacquelyn Carr, MD, a surgical oncologist from St. Luke’s Cancer Center – Upper Bucks. “The reason for that is because we are seeing a higher incidence in young people. It is quite treatable and quite curable. It’s one of the few cancers that we have that we still can cure, even when it’s a Stage 4 disease.”

JoAnn finished chemo and rang the bell to signal the end of her treatment, but a routine scan six months later showed the presence of a small nodule, and it was completely removed.

The biopsy revealed a recurrence of the original cancer in a different area, making it Stage 4.

JoAnn underwent three more months of a different chemotherapy and completed that in March 2020. If JoAnn had tried to live with her symptoms instead of seeking treatment, she may not have survived. Today, she can hold her daughter, laugh, dance, play, and dream with her.

For more information visit

PHOTO CAP: JoAnn Farley holds her daughter Skylar.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x