If You Stole This Giant Inflatable Colon, Why You Should Return It Immediately

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Giant inflatable colons like this one pictured in Sacramento, California, can help raise colon cancer awareness. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Why would you do this? You may steal someone’s heart, but why would you steal their 10-foot-long, 150-pound inflatable colon?

The University of Kansas Cancer Center announced on Friday that someone poached the Cancer Coalition’s gigantic large intestine from a pickup bed in Brookside, Kansas. Yes, the big balloon organ is worth about $4,000. But don’t you think that it may raise eyebrows if you show your date that you sleep on a gigantic colon? Or try to sell it on eBay?

Plus, have a heart, instead of taking a gigantic colon. In the right hands, the inflatable colon can serve a good purpose and help many lives by raising awareness about colon health. As this University of Kansas Health System video shows, the inflatable colon teaches how polyps can form and then eventually become cancerous lesions if they are not detected and removed in time:

According to the American Cancer Society, this year there will be 97,220 new cases of colon cancer and 43,030 new cases of rectal cancer in the U.S. alone. About 1 in 22 (4.49%) men and 1 in 24 (4.15%) women will end up developing colorectal cancer. An expected 50,630 men and women will die from colorectal cancer in 2018. And here’s more poopy news: studies have shown that colorectal cancer cancer rates have been rising.

The good news about colon cancer is that catching it early may dramatically improve your odds of surviving. The American Cancer Society recommends that you start regular screening at age 45. This should continue at least through age 75. You may need to start screening at an earlier age if you or your family have had a history of colorectal cancer or certain types of polyps, if you have had inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease), or you have gotten radiation treatments to your abdomen or pelvis. If your colon is 10 feet-long or 150 pounds, see your doctor immediately, or return that colon to the University of Kansas as soon as possible.  

festival-goes toss poop around. Not real poop, thankfully, but inflatable poop emojis. This is a good reminder to test your stool for blood. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Hangout Music Festival)

Screening can consist of testing your stool every year and undergoing a colonoscopy every 10 years. You may replace the colonoscopy with a CT colonography (virtual colonoscopy) or a flexible sigmoidoscopy (FSIG). But these should be done every 5 years because they don’t see all of the colon as well. And no, your smartphone cannot replace a colonoscope, so please, please don’t put that anywhere near there.

This is not a normal amount of poop to produce. An inflatable excrement of three meters is exhibited in schools of Torrelodones town near Madrid for a campaign to raise awareness of dog owners to pick up the excrement. (Photo by Marcos del Mazo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

If you pilfered the Cancer Coalition colon, you are a piece of fecal material. Please return it. You are causing a strain on those trying to raise colon cancer screening rates. As this National Cancer Institute website shows, less than 70% of people are getting proper screening for colon cancer. If you really want something inflatable from that part of the body, just search the Internet for “inflatable poop” and see what you can buy. Just beware of what may plop out in your search.

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