Colon cancer is no joking matter. But our colon and what comes out of it are subjects we don't like to talk about. So a Siouxland hospital is trying to ease the uncomfortableness by making light of this organ in our body.
Call her CoCo.. the Colossal Colon. It's a nationwide exhibit designed to raise awareness about colon cancer... in a funny way. "I think if everybody is joking about it, and we're making fun about it, then it makes it more comfortable for us to talk about it. And then we can get to the serious side of the subject, as well," said Amy Slevin. And there is a serious side. Colon cancer... a disease that's very prevalent in the tri-state area. "In the Siouxland area we have very high incident rates of colon cancer, so we wanted to make people aware of the need to be screened for colon cancer," said Amy Slevin.
But to know if you have colon cancer... someone has to take a look inside! "We're goin' in." CoCo has a little bit of everything... from Crohn's Disease, to Diverticulosis. "Is that a polyp down there? I believe it is!" "Some polyps are pre-cancerous, and those are the polyps were most interested in having removed," said Slevin. "If we saw some of the things we see in the colon on our face, for instance, we'd be running to the doctor immediately," said Slevin.
If a polyp does become cancer... it looks like this! "That looks disgusting. Yeah, it does." "At least it doesn't feel like colon cancer. It would be slimier I imagine. It would. Keep in mind the inside of the colon is quite moist. It does have a lot, as food has to propel through, it does have to have a smooth passage so it is very moist. So this is a colon that had the cleansing yesterday. Exactly this one is ready for a colonoscopy," said us. A check up everyone should have when they reach age 50... or younger if colon cancer runs in their family.
Amy Slevin says Mercy Medical Center hopes bringing the Colossal Colon to town will motivate people to take action. Either getting a colonoscopy... or if they're younger than 50... eating more fiber... and avoiding smoking and eating large amounts of red meat to decrease their colon cancer risk. By the way... you can crawl through CoCo the Colon for yourself this weekend. The exhibit is set up at the Sioux City Convention Center. The hours are Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.
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