Rollin' Colon spreads colon health awareness - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Rollin' Colon spreads colon health awareness

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

Thousands of Americans die from colon cancer each year. So education and early detection are key to lower that rate.

Monday and Tuesday people had a chance to walk through a replica of a human colon at Mercy's Hall-Perrine Cancer Center in Cedar Rapids.

Health officials hope the exhibit will bring awareness to colon health.

The United States, colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths. That's why exhibits like the "Rollin' Colon" is important to raise awareness.

"Colon cancer is expected to kill about 50,000 people in 2013 and that's significant," Dr. Vincent Reid, Surgical Oncologist.

Doctors say early detection is key when it comes to beating it.

"Colon cancer in its earliest stages in treatable and curable and in it's more advanced stages less so," said Dr. Reid.

The tricky thing, there are only a few symptoms with colon cancer, if any.

"But in it's earliest stages the symptoms can include rectal bleeding, it can include abdominal pain," said Dr. Reid.

If you are 50 years old you are encouraged to get a colonoscopy. Doctors say it may be more uncomfortable getting ready for the exam, than the process itself.

"Most of the time patients look up afterwards and say I was just waiting for them to get started so very seldom do people have much recall of what goes on," said Cindy Greenfield, Digestive Health Nurse.

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