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March is colorectal awareness month – PBMC uses giant inflatable walkthrough model to raise public’s conciousness

The inflatable colon set up in the lobby of Peconic Bay Medical Center last year. File photo: Denise Civiletti

March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, so what better way to draw attention to colon health than with a giant inflatable colon.

A giant inflatable — what?

That’s what Peconic Bay Medical Center and Cancer Services Program of Suffolk County is doing on March 22. Part of the event is that free colon screenings will be given between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. to anyone who does not have insurance.

The huge walk-through colon will be inflated in the main lobby, where PBMC gastroenterologist will give tours and talk about colon cancer risks and the simple exam that would save more than 30,000 lives each year if everyone over age 50 got screened. Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States. And at least 60 percent of those deaths are preventable with early detection.

Colons and colonoscopies are subjects that sometimes produce giggles or nervous twitters, but colon cancer is no laughing matter. Why not take an hour or two out of your morning and learn about this easily detected disease before it’s too late to cure.