Intermountain Health’s Giant Inflatable Colon Tour Promotes Colon Screenings

Industry: Healthcare

Campaign “Let’s Get to the Bottom of Colon Cancer” brings vital awareness about colon cancer and the importance of potentially life-saving screenings.

Salt Lake City, Utah (PRUnderground) March 2nd, 2023

A unique community colorectal cancer awareness campaign is kicking off in Utah and Idaho with a “Let’s Get to the Bottom of Colon Cancer” giant inflatable colon tour that will travel to 22 Intermountain Health hospitals and clinics in 30 days, bringing with it vital awareness about colon cancer and the importance of potentially life-saving screenings.

The Intermountain “Let’s Get to the Bottom of Colon Cancer” inflatable colon tour kicks off in St. George on March 1, 2023, at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital.

The unique tour is an interactive opportunity for the public to see what it looks like inside a human colon –– not a view many people get to see.

“This is an interactive opportunity for the public to see what the inside of a colon looks like,” said Nathan Merriman, MD, medical director of gastroenterology and digestive health at Intermountain Health. “As people walk through the 12-foot, 113-pound inflatable colon, it depicts the different stages of colorectal cancer, starting with the earliest stage of a precancerous colon polyp. We hope this helps educates people about recommended screenings and raise awareness about how to prevent this disease.”

The American Cancer Society estimates more than 153,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer this year, making it the third-most common cancer diagnosed for men and women and the second-leading cause of total cancer-related deaths.

“The giant inflatable colon is definitely a conversation starter. It illustrates how colon cancer develops from polyps and shows how physicians inspect a colon for precancerous polyps,” said Christoph Woerlein, MD, gastroenterologist at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital. “It also drives home the point that prevention is the best strategy to beat cancer.”

Dr. Woerlein also stressed that the goal is to get the public to take control of their health and better understand that colon cancer is preventable, treatable, and beatable when detected early.

The only way to detect colon cancer it is through screening. People with an average risk of colon cancer should start their screenings at age 45.

Dustin Beasley, 42, of St. George, knows first-hand the importance of early screening. He got his first colonoscopy when he was 25, just a year after he lost his father who died from colon cancer at the young age of 52. His grandfather on his mother’s side also died of colon cancer when he was 62.

Knowing he has a family history of colon cancer, which is one of the risk factors, Beasley now gets a colonoscopy every three to five years. He says one day of discomfort from the preparation helps protect his overall health and avoid the pain that accompanies cancer.

“I look at the alternative of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation and realize I don’t need to fear the unknown,” said Beasley.

A colonoscopy, which is an examination of the inside of your colon, is the most effective method of screening for colon cancer, precancerous growths, and polyps. If an abnormal mass or polyp is identified during the outpatient procedure, the physician will identify the best course of treatment, which may include removing it during the procedure.

“Finding and removing precancerous growths during a colonoscopy can prevent cancer from developing,” said Dr. Merriman. “Delays in screening could lead to a delayed cancer diagnosis. A screening can really save a life and protect a family. We need everyone’s help to work together to prevent colon cancer across our communities.”

The inflatable colon will be at Intermountain Cedar City Hospital and Intermountain Garfield Memorial Hospital in Panguitch on March 2 and then will travel to different hospitals in Utah and Idaho throughout March.

For the full inflatable colon tour, click here.

For more information on colonoscopies, click here.

About Intermountain Health

Headquartered in Utah with locations in seven states and additional operations across the western U.S., is a nonprofit system of 33 hospitals, 385 clinics, medical groups with some 3,900 employed physicians and advanced care providers, a health plans division called SelectHealth with more than one million members, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information or updates, see

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