Giant Walk-through Colon at Lafayette General Facilities

3/16/2015

A unique tool in the fight against colon cancer will be on display at two Lafayette General Health facilities. A giant inflatable walk-through colon will be on exhibit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at University Hospital & Clinics on Friday, March 20, and at The Burdin Riehl Center at Lafayette General (1211 Coolidge St.) on Monday, March 23.

The colon is on a first-time tour of Louisiana during March, Colon Cancer Awareness Month, to bring awareness and education about a top killer. The 3-dimensional inflatable provides a close-up view of healthy colon tissue as well as diseases that affect the colon, including Crohn’s disease, colorectal polyps and various stages of colon cancer. Information on risk factors and symptoms will also be available.

This amazing exhibit is made possible through the Louisiana Comprehensive Cancer Control Program (LCCCP), recognizing colon cancer as one of the six priority cancers in Louisiana. The LCCCP is the umbrella organization for a number of CDC-funded programs, which are housed at the LSU School of Public Health in New Orleans.

“More than 90% of colorectal cancers are preventable,” says gastroenterologist Stephen Abshire, M.D., with Lafayette General Endoscopy Center (LGEC). “However, many people do not recognize the importance of screening and rationalize not having one because of time, no family history or because they have no symptoms and they think they can’t get it.”

Oncologists at Cancer Center of Acadiana (CCA) at Lafayette General know all too well the importance of early screening for colorectal cancer. “While there is a high incidence of colorectal cancer in Acadiana, it is a preventable disease. But, people are dying because of misconceptions about it,” says CCA Medical Director Michael Cain, M.D.

For seven years now, LGEC has provided free home screenings kits that test for the risks of colorectal cancer with a simple, hands-free test. The free kits are available at any of the 18 Walgreens stores in Acadiana through March 31. Last year, 2,800 were distributed.

Colorectal cancer is such an issue in Louisiana that health experts around the state have come together to form a Louisiana Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (LCCRT). Like the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable, its goal is getting everyone 50 years and over screened by 2018.

For more information on colorectal cancer and other cancers, visit www.lcccp.org.

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