The Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute, Bayer HealthCare Pharmaceuticals, and the Michigan Science Center are teaming up for colorectal cancer awareness month to bring the public a fun and educational display to raise awareness about colorectal cancer. The exhibit entitled “Keep Your Rear in the Clear” showcases a 20 foot long, 12 foot high inflatable colon that visitors can walk through while learning about colon health. Health experts will also be available to answer questions and share educational materials on risk factors, screening information, and prevention techniques such as eating and exercise habits.
The exhibit will be on display at the Michigan Science Center on Friday, March 28 from 9 am to 3 pm and Saturday, March 29 from 10 am to 6 pm. On Saturday, colon cancer expert Dr. Hemchandra Mahaseth, M.D. will be available for an Ask the Doctor session from noon to 1 pm. The exhibit can be viewed with paid admission to the Science Center; no additional fee is charged.
“Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in both men and women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States,” says Patricia Ellis, Director of Media Relations for Karmanos. “The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 126,800 new cases of colorectal cancers will be diagnosed this year alone. Although incident rates have decreased slightly over the past two decades, largely attributed to colorectal cancer screenings, raising awareness of healthy lifestyles, risk factors and the importance of cancer screenings will help save lives.”
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is 90% preventable and 90% treatable if detected early yet remains the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Karmanos wants to encourage more people to understand their risk factors, be aware of symptoms, and get screenings to help save lives.
Colorectal cancer refers to cancers of the colon and rectum. Colorectal cancer can start as a benign polyp or growth; fortunately these can be removed during routine screening. Colorectal cancer can affect anyone, but risk factors such as lifestyle, medical history, and age play a part in determining if someone has an increased risk. Symptoms may include diarrhea, bloody stool, abdominal pain, or no symptoms at all, so screening is vital. To lower your risk, Karmanos recommends maintaining a healthy weight, eating five or more servings or fruits and vegetables every day, eating high-fiber foods, and limiting intake of processed foods and meats.