TAMPA, Fla. — Sometimes the signs of colon cancer are subtle, chalked up to “stomach troubles” or too embarrassing to talk about, but Moffitt Cancer Center hopes to change that with the Giant Inflatable Colon on Saturday, March 11, from 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

The 3-dimensional Giant Inflatable Colon is a 20-foot, tunnel-like colon that attendees walk through to see the organ from the inside out. Its walls are lined with healthy tissues, polyps, cancerous polyps and Crohn’s disease. The Giant Inflatable Colon is part of a free Colon Cancer Awareness event featuring educational sessions in both English and Spanish.  

Colon cancer is the third most common form of cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death. More than 100,000 Americans will be diagnosed with colon cancer this year. Doctors diagnosed Margie Schwerdt with stage 3 colon cancer 20 years ago at the age of 52. She underwent surgery and is an advocate for colonoscopies because she believes the screening would have found the cancer at an earlier stage.

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month and symptoms of the disease include:

  • Blood in the stool
  • Stomach pain
  • Constant aches or cramps
  • Unexplained weight loss

Since beating cancer, Schwerdt took a job at Moffitt and is often the first face people see as they walk into the cancer center. She felt like her life was over on the day of her diagnosis, but now she believes that was the day her life began because she feels as though she has a new lease on life comforting newly diagnosed patients. 

Media Opportunity:

What: Colon Cancer Awareness Event with Giant Inflatable Colon

When: Saturday, March 11, 8 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Moffitt Cancer Center Stabile Research Building, 12902 Magnolia Drive, Tampa, FL 33612 

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Moffitt is dedicated to one lifesaving mission: to contribute to the prevention and cure of cancer. The Tampa-based facility is one of only 47 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 6 cancer hospital in the nation and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of the “Best Hospitals” for cancer care since 1999. Moffitt devotes more than 2.5 million square feet to research and patient care. Moffitt’s expert nursing staff is recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet® status, its highest distinction. With more than 5,200 team members, Moffitt has an economic impact in the state of $2.1 billion. For more information, call 1-888-MOFFITT (1-888-663-3488), visit MOFFITT.org, and follow the momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube