Raising Awareness About Colon Cancer

The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Endoscopy Center team, along with Mount Sinai staff and volunteers and members of the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation, in front of the “Rollin’ Colon” educational exhibit.

The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Endoscopy Center team, along with Mount Sinai staff and volunteers and members of the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation, in front of the “Rollin’ Colon” educational exhibit.

Nearly 1,000 people participated in Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month activities on Wednesday, March 2, at The Mount Sinai Hospital. Visitors picked up educational literature and giveaways, and walked through a 30-ft. inflatable model of a colon, known as the “Rollin’ Colon”—provided by the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation—that exhibits polyps and other signs of colon cancer. They also had the opportunity to talk with nurses, physicians, geneticists, nutritionists, and endoscopy staff. Forty seven attendees signed up for a screening colonoscopy. The event was hosted by The Mount Sinai Hospital Endoscopy Center.

“Rollin’ Colon” Exhibit Attracts Visitors at Union Square Park

“Rollin’ Colon” Exhibit Attracts Visitors at Union Square Park

From left: Marcline St. Germain, Health Communication Assistant, and Cindy R. Borassi, Director, Communications and Operations, Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation; Cynthia Martinez, event organizer, and colon cancer survivor; Dan Foster, colon cancer survivor; David Carr-Locke, MD; and Lizanka Rodriguez, Colonoscopy Patient Navigator, Division of Digestive Diseases.

More than 600 people visited the “Rollin’ Colon,” an exhibit of the digestive tract that was on display in Union Square Park on Thursday, September 24, during the Third Annual Colon Cancer Awareness Event, sponsored by Mount Sinai Beth Israel’s Division of Digestive Diseases, the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation (CCCF), and the Union Square Partnership. The walk-through exhibit featured the abnormalities seen during a colonoscopy. Staff from Mount Sinai Beth Israel and the CCCF provided information about colon cancer and the importance of early detection. David Carr-Locke, MD, Professor, Medicine (Gastroenterology), Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, showed visitors his large-scale model of a colonoscope. Six visitors at the event registered for colonoscopies.

Promoting Colorectal Cancer Awareness

The Mount Sinai Hospital’s Endoscopy Center hosted a number of events on Wednesday, March 4, to commemorate Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Among the activities was the “Rollin’ Colon,” a walk-through, inflatable, educational model of a colon that magnifies the appearance of a human colon—revealing polyps and other symptoms—sponsored by the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation.

Colon Cancer Prevention

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of death from cancer in the United States. Being that March is colorectal cancer awareness month, how can we lower our chance of colon and rectal cancer?

Only 25% of colon cancer patients have a family history. For individuals who do not have a family history of colon cancer, the onset can be attributed by lifestyle (poor diet and lack of exercise), environmental exposure, or stress. Stress causes inflammation, which ultimately suppresses the immune system and links to cancer. Read more

"More than 5% … of U.S. Adults, Could Be Misdiagnosed during an Outpatient Visit …, and about One-Half of These Errors Had the Potential to Lead to Worse Outcomes for the Patients."

A Modern Healthcare article reported on a studies which defined misdiagnoses as “missed opportunities to make a timely or correct diagnosis based on the available evidence.”

“One of the studies used in the analysis, published in March 2013 in JAMA Internal Medicine, identified nearly 70 different conditions for which misdiagnoses occurred in the primary-care setting, like pneumonia, renal failure and urinary tract infections. The other two focused specifically on cancer, including a retrospective study published in BMJ that used electronic health-record data to detect potential delays in prostate and colon cancer diagnoses; and a 2010 study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which evaluated whether EHRs could be good predictors of misdiagnoses in lung cancer.”

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Colon Cancer Myths

March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Here are the most common myths about this disease that I hear from my patients.


“I feel fine, I have no pain or feel any lumps- there is no way for me to have colon cancer”


Most patients who underwent screening colonoscopy and a colon cancer were found did NOT have any symptoms. Most importantly, those are the cases that are curable! By the time symptoms developed, unfortunately it is often already too late. 91% of patients with cancer that were detected early are alive and well 5 years after diagnosis. But only 37% of all colorectal cancer are diagnosed at this stage- we can do better, this is the most preventable cancer with screening.

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