20-foot inflatable colon available for tours Sunday

KEARNEY – Everyone has a colon, but has anyone ever walked through one?

CHI Health Good Samaritan is giving people the chance to get a tour of a 20-foot inflatable colon on Sunday June 27, near the Sonotorium at Harmon Park. The super colon will be tall enough for the public to walk through and learn about risks, symptoms, prevention, early detection, and treatment of colorectal cancer.

The exhibit will allow the public to have a close-up look at healthy tissues, tissue with non-malignant colorectal diseases, and tissue with various stages of colorectal cancer.

This display will be up from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, in conjunction with Community Olympics, which is hosted by the gastroenterology team at CHI Health Good Samaritan. This will be a free exhibit intended to raise awareness about the significant increase of colorectal cancer deaths in younger adults.

According to the American Cancer Society, by 2030, 10% of colon cancers and 22% of rectal cancers diagnosed in the U.S. are expected to be in patients younger than 50. This is compared with the rates of 4% colon and 9% rectal cancer from just 10 years ago.

“Colon and rectal cancer isn’t just an older person’s disease," said Good Samaritan gastroenterologist Dr. Arif Nawaz. "The rate at which it’s affecting those 50 and younger is alarming. We are hoping to draw attention to the importance of colonoscopies, even if you are young and fit like our Olympians, starting at age 45. These screenings can find precancerous polyps we can remove before they turn into cancer.”