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Colon cancer awareness at Geisinger Medical Center

March is Colon Cancer Awareness month and Geisinger is encouraging people to get colonoscopies.

DANVILLE, Pa. — When walking into the lobby at Geisinger Medical Center, it was hard to miss a giant inflatable model of a colon.

"This is just a model to show you what a polyp looks like, what colon cancer looks like, and even what Crohn's (disease) or other conditions look like," said Geisinger gastrologist Dr. Joshua Shellenberger.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month, and Geisinger wants to stress the importance of early detection and preventative screenings.

Dr. Shellenberger says colonoscopies are the best way to prevent colon cancer.

"I can't tell you how many times people come in, and they have the colonoscopy, and they say I should have had this 5 to 10 years ago."

During this event, people could walk through the giant model colon to see its full anatomy.

"I think it's a neat educational thing to have," said Cindy McKeegan of Sunbury. "It's a neat thing, and it really explains it well."

According to doctors here, colon cancer has a 90 percent survival rate if it's caught at its earliest stages.

"It's one of the few diseases in medicine that's really preventable in the majority of people. That's why we push, and we have a month devoted to it," Dr. Shellenberger said.

Visitors were also able to schedule colonoscopies at the event. The inflatable colon will be at Geisinger's other facilities later this week.