The Cancer Coalition’s 10-foot inflatable colon was stolen while it was on its way to another event for the “Get Your Rear In Gear” campaign. It is an important tool for the campaign as it helps people understand colon cancer better in an unconventional way.

What are some important things to know about colon cancer?

Inflatable Colon Stolen

On Oct. 19, The University of Kansas Health System called for the help of the public regarding the theft of a giant inflatable colon typically used in walk/run events under the Cancer Coalition’s “Get Your Rear In Gear” campaign. Evidently, the $4,000-worth 10-foot inflatable colon was on the way to the annual Sister’s Living Beyond Breast Cancer 5K Relay Walk when it disappeared from the back of a pickup bed at Swope Park.

Not only it is a valuable asset to the organization but also to the cause of educating people about the dangers of colon cancer. According to surgical oncologist John Ashcraft, D.O. of The University of Kansas Cancer Center, while colon cancer is not a very easy subject to talk about, the giant inflatable helps by bringing awareness to people. This is very important especially since early screening helps prevent colon cancer deaths.

“Colorectal cancer screening is the most powerful weapon we have against colorectal cancer,” said Ashcraft.

As such, the University of Kansas Cancer Center as well as the local police authorities are urging the public to give any information they may have on the missing inflatable, and to return it promptly should anyone find it.

Colon Cancer

Colon cancer is cancer in the large intestine that typically begins as small, benign polyps that may eventually turn into cancer cells. These polyps may be very small and produce little to no symptoms. This is why regular screenings are necessary, so as to identify and prevent polyps from turning into cancerous cells.

Many people with colon cancer do not get any symptoms at all in the early stages, so it is imperative to visit a doctor as soon as possible should one experience colon cancer symptoms such as rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, persistent abdominal discomfort, weakness, unexplainable weight loss, a change in bowel habits or stool consistency for more than four weeks, or the feeling that the bowel does not empty completely.

It is recommended to have regular colon screenings for ages 50 and above, but those with a family history of colon cancer may have to start the screenings earlier.

While the cause of colon cancer is unknown, certain inherited gene mutations are associated with higher colon cancer risks. Further, some studies have also shown that typical Western diets that are high in fat and low in fiber may lead to an increased risk for colon cancer. It is found that consuming tree nuts may help improve colon cancer survival.

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