Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths.
Many of these deaths could be prevented with education and screening. A new exhibit is spreading the word.
Every year colorectal cancer strikes 150-thousand people. People like Brendan Welch, who was diagnosed when he was just 26.
Brendan Welch/ Cancer Survivor: "If it hadn't been caught when it was, you know I wouldn't be here, or I'd be very sick or my life would be very much different than it is now."
June R. Wallace is another survivor. Her cancer was found because she paid attention to changes in her body.
June R. Wallace/ Cancer Survivor: "I says, 'You know what, there's something going on with me. I'm having a lot of constipation.'"
To help spread the word that colorectal cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable, the Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation has created the Colossal Colon tour.
Carolyn Aldige/ Cancer Research and Prevention Foundation: "Too many people die of embarrassment. This is a disease that can be prevented, and no one should die of colorectal cancer."
It's the brainchild of Molly McMaster, a survivor herself.
Molly McMaster/ Colossal Colon Tour: "We need to teach people that you can get colorectal cancer at any age, at any race, any sex. It doesn't matter who you are. It doesn't matter what your dog's name is. Everybody's at risk for colorectal cancer."
On the tour you can learn about prevention and see how a colonoscopy is done.
But the star of the show is the colon itself, a 40-foot replica that's tall enough to crawl through.
The Colossal Colon takes away some of the mystery. It lets you see first hand what a polyp looks like, hemorrhoids, or even colon cancer.
The exhibit is geared to all ages and hopes to drive home a simple message.
Molly McMaster: "Get screeened when you turn 50 years old. Because no matter what you think, your body needs to be tested for colorectal cancer. The most common symptom is no symptom at all, and you can remove it before it even starts, just by removing the polyp."
The exhibit is traveling to 20 cities around the country. It's interesting and fun and it seems to accomplish it's goal... getting people to talk about colorectal cancer.