When Johanna Poremba first posted about her colon cancer on social media, she figured she would get a few “likes” from supportive friends and family.
But the Hampton Bays resident never predicted that the post would go viral and get her invited to appear on the Dr. Oz Show.
“I was like, me? Really?” Ms. Poremba recalled. “I didn’t think a picture of me like that could get noticed.”
Ms. Poremba, 22, a graduate of the Southampton School District, said she decided to post the photo to finally tell people about her battle with colon cancer. She was diagnosed in early November and had a one-inch tumor removed later that month.
In the photo, which she posted to her personal Facebook and Instagram accounts, Ms. Poremba holds a handmade sign that reads, “March is colon cancer awareness month … ”
The poster also encourages young people to be screened and lists some of the symptoms of colon cancer: bleeding, change in bowl movements, decreased appetite, abdominal pain or cramping, black or dark colored stool, and extreme fatigue.
The post received more than 200 “likes” and was quickly picked up by someone on the Dr. Oz team, Ms. Poremba explained. Ms. Poremba, who is continuing to receive chemotherapy treatments at North Shore Hematology Oncology Associates in Southampton, said it was exciting to learn that Dr. Oz—whose real name is Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon and teaching professor at Columbia University—wanted her on his show.
She went to the studio in Manhattan on Friday afternoon to film. Ms. Poremba said she and another young woman who is also fighting colon cancer talked about the symptoms and ways it could be prevented—such as adding fiber and antioxidants to your diet.
It was not immediately clear when the episode is planned to be aired.