Giant inflatable colon helps with cancer prevention | News

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Giant inflatable colon helps with cancer prevention

(NEWS CENTER) -- There is a larger than life traveling inflatable colon in Auburn-Lewiston Tuesday. It stands 10-feet high, 12-feet wide, and 12-feet long and allows people to see the inside of a colon. The colon features polyps, cancer and other abnormalities. Registered dieticians will be at the event to discuss healthy colon food. St. Mary's Medical Regional Center is featuring the giant colon Tuesday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the LePage Large Conference Room. It will then travel to the Auburn Mall and located near the TD Bank from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Every year, about 140,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer better known as colon cancer. More than 50,000 people die from it. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the United States. However, colon cancer is one of the most preventable and treatable forms of cancer, especially when it is caught early.

Diane Atwood of the blog Catching Health and former health reporter at NEWS CENTER said many people don't get colonoscopies because of the cost. But there are affordable options. Atwood said under the Affordable Care Act all private health plans must cover colorectal cancer screening tests as a preventative service. There should not be any out-of-pocket costs to patients. The deductible is waived for colorectal cancer screening tests under Medicare, said Atwood. For those without insurance, Maine Colorectal Cancer Control Program offers no-cost cancer screening services. Atwood said to call the Colon Screening Hotline at 1-877-320-6800 for more information.


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