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SANDY — Regardless of becoming the third-most prevalent type of cancer and second-major bring about of death from cancer, colon cancer is one particular of the most preventable types of the illness.

Intermountain Wellness is focusing on colon cancer all through the month of March, toting a giant inflatable colon to numerous of its facilities to educate employees, sufferers and the public about the value of colonoscopies.

The inflatable colon is 12 feet lengthy and weighs 113 pounds. Monday was its 10th cease, at Alta View Hospital, and the colon will continue moving to diverse places in Utah and Idaho as portion of Intermountain’s awareness campaign. It displays portions of a wholesome colon, polyps or bumps on the colon, malignant polyps which appear a lot more vascular and have a lot more redness, cancerous cells, sophisticated cancer cells and Crohn’s illness.

The enormous inflatable, affectionately named “Collin the Colon,” is on loan from Boston Scientific, a healthcare device manufacturer.

Dr. Austin Cannon, a colon and rectal surgeon at Intermountain Health-related Center, mentioned his sufferers do not generally have a history of colon cancer in their households, and are wholesome — so they do not count on any troubles would be located. As lengthy as the cancer is caught early, he mentioned, it is extremely treatable.

Colonoscopies can be portrayed as a “terrible ordeal” but, Cannon mentioned, it is significant to normalize the conversation about colonoscopies.

“Colon cancer can take place to anyone, and it really is significant to get screened,” he mentioned.

Cannon mentioned he encourages sufferers to come in a lot more typically for colonoscopies and to inform their loved ones members at a greater danger for colon cancer to get a colonoscopy, as well. For any person with a initial-degree relative with colon cancer, Cannon mentioned, a colonoscopy is the only test they really should use simply because it is far better at identifying polyps that can typically be taken out instantly, lowering the danger of colon cancer.

Nickole Gardner, nurse manager in the endoscopy division at Alta View Hospital, mentioned she hopes persons are searching for indicators of colon cancer and acquiring common and timely colonoscopies — at age 45, or earlier for persons with a loved ones history of colon cancer.

She mentioned overall health specialists would rather locate cancer at the polyps stage, but it requires a colonoscopy to figure out it really is there. The time for polyps to progress towards cancer is diverse for absolutely everyone, which is why the subsequent appointment right after a person’s initial colonoscopy will differ.

Nichole Gardner points to normal polyps on an inflatable colon display at Intermountain Health's Alta View Hospital on Monday.Nichole Gardner points to standard polyps on an inflatable colon show at Intermountain Health’s Alta View Hospital on Monday. (Photo: Emily Ashcraft,

The age medical doctors advise a initial colonoscopy was lately modified from 50 to 45. Gardner mentioned medical doctors are getting colon cancer in younger and younger sufferers, and are estimating the typical age variety for diagnoses will move even reduced ahead of 2030.

“We’re just getting a lot more and a lot more (younger persons) getting colon cancer so come in, get screened for positive,” she mentioned.

Gardner mentioned some persons hesitate to come in simply because preparing for the process is not best for most persons, and the notion of becoming place to sleep and getting the process also scares some. But she urges persons not to ignore indicators and symptoms like rectal bleeding, modify in bowel habits, abdominal discomfort and unintentional weight loss.

Life-style possibilities can assistance to minimize danger for colon cancer, as nicely, she mentioned, like abstaining from smoking, keeping a wholesome weight and working out routinely.

With the encouraged screening age becoming lowered, and with numerous delayed procedures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a lot more persons than ever who really should be acquiring colonoscopies. Intermountain is functioning to be ready for the raise, and has set up a streamlined method to schedule persons for the process a lot more immediately.

Lori Smit, clinical operations director for endoscopy at Intermountain Wellness, mentioned right after persons fill out a type on line, they will be contacted inside a day or two to schedule the process. She mentioned the program is “patient-centric” and will perform with a patient’s schedule. Folks probably will not be in a position to perform suitable right after the process simply because they have been sedated, but they typically really should be in a position to return to perform the subsequent day, Smit mentioned.

Seven hospitals and 17 physicians are connected by way of the central scheduling system, producing the process offered to a lot more Utahns.

“It actually does give sufferers solutions to pick from, and actually it is about the patient and their option,” Smit mentioned.

Intermountain started working with the program in March final year, and the initial procedures occurred in May perhaps. Via the system, sufferers are in a position to get the process in an typical of 35 days. Smit mentioned, commonly, there is a 3- to six-month wait time, so this shows their system is extremely thriving.

“Get it in, get it carried out — it really is just not a huge deal and it saves lives,” she mentioned.



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Emily Ashcraft joined as a reporter in 2021. She covers courts and legal affairs, as nicely as overall health, faith and religion news.

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