Local woman beats Cancer three times

BALTIMORE, Md. (WMAR) - Ursala Cain-Jordan remembers getting the devastating news a little over thirty years ago. 

She had colon cancer.

"At that time around 1982, I didn't know any cancer survivors, and I immediatly assumed that I was going to die," says Ursala.

But her fight was only beginning. Ursula was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1993 and in 2013, diagnosed again with colon cancer. 

"By then, it was like, oh whatever happens, I'm going to go through this," says Ursula.

Ursula had two colon resections, and for follow up care was referred to Doctor Pallavi Kumar, the Director of Immuno-Oncology for the Baltimore region MedStar Health Cancer Network.

Doctor Kumar says colorectal cancers are very treatable.

"Most patients get chemotherapy, but nowadays, we're able to profile their cancer and we're able to know if we can target their cancer with different treatments, as well as, there are immunotherapies that are out there that we can actually consider for these patients," says Kumar.

While there are various treatments for colorectal cancers. It is very important to pay attention to your symptoms.

"Identifying symptoms and signs can include: rectal bleeding, can include bloating, abdominal pain, distention, and often it can be changes in bowel habits," says Kumar.

Doctor Kumar recommends a colonoscopy at age 50, but says it should be done earlier if you have a family history of the disease.

Kumar says, "If they have a relative, a first degree relative, which is a father, mother, sister, or brother, we often will recommend a colonoscopy ten years younger to their age of diagnosis."

Meanwhile, Ursula continues to be monitored by a team of doctors. And when we asked Doctor Kumar about Ursula, it was a touching response. A first-hand look at the bond between a doctor and her patient. 

"So Ursula is a very special patient to me. I'm going to tear up," says Kumar.

And the feeling is mutual.

"She's just a joy. She's just a very caring person and it's more like we have this connection, this friendship, in addition to she being my doctor," says Ursula.  

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