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Giant, inflatable colon to visit Ashland Town Center

Giant, inflatable colon to visit Ashland Town Center

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, and King’s Daughters Medical Center and Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital are partnering with several area organizations to bring a special, educational event to Ashland Town Center mall from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, March 31.

A highlight of the event will include a giant, inflatable colon visitors can walk through (from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.) to learn about cancer and other diseases affecting the intestinal tract.

The American Cancer Society estimates there will 95,520 new colon cancer and 39,820 rectal cancer cases in the U.S. in 2017 — 2,250 in Kentucky. “Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. with incidence rates above the national average in Kentucky,” said Amy Shepard, cancer registrar for Oncology Services at KDMC. “It has the highest death rate, claiming the lives of more than 800 Kentuckians each year. It is also one of the most preventable cancers and very treatable when caught early.”

Early colon cancer usually has no symptoms, which makes screening extremely important, said Shepard. By the time symptoms appear — blood in stool, changes in bowel habits, persistent diarrhea or constipation, cramping or abdominal pain, weakness or fatigue, unintended weight loss — cancer may have advanced to a difficult to treat stage.

In addition to the giant, inflatable colon, the event will also feature:

  • Free health screenings including total cholesterol, blood sugar, hemoglobin, blood pressure, glaucoma, bone density and Derma Scan for skin cancer. No appointment is required.
  • Education on tobacco cessation, nutrition and exercise
  • Booths and materials from the event’s co-sponsors

Event attendees are encouraged to dress in blue to support colon cancer awareness.