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In honor of Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, the Josephine Ford Cancer Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, will display a 32-foot-long by 14-foot-high inflatable replica of the human colon on March 10. The inflatable colon shows healthy and unhealthy polyps and explains diseases.
Over 136,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer every year. It is the second most common type of cancer and one of the most preventable. Early detection and treatment can dramatically increase survival rates. There has been a significant decline in colon cancer rates in the past 15 years due to colonoscopy screenings becoming more commonly performed.
Ninety percent of colon cancer cases occur in people over 50. Doctors encourage anyone over the age of 50 and those with a family history of colon cancer or other risk factors to have a colonoscopy. If a polyp is found, it can be removed before it becomes cancerous.
The event’s organizers hope that by walking through the inflatable colon, people will better understand the colonoscopy process and the importance of early detection and treatment. They hope that visitors will be less afraid of the procedure after walking through the inflatable colon.
A 2013 study funded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control concluded that similar inflatable colon exhibits improved the public’s knowledge of colon cancer and interest in screening.
The hospital will also host a panel discussion about colon health and answer questions about health, prevention, screening, and treatment.