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Interactive event focusses on bowel cancer

17 July 2016

Health Care

Visitors to a special health and wellbeing event for adults with learning disabilities were given a unique opportunity to learn about the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer and other diseases of the large intestine with the help of a giant inflatable colon.

The walk through replica of the human colon, which measured seven metres by four metres, was provided by Southend University Hospital and had over 200 visitors alone, giving each of them a closer look at conditions like polyps and Crohn's disease as well as different types of cancers.

The hospital's Specialist Nurse for Learning Disability, Sarah Haines, said: "For people with learning disabilities constipation and bowel problems are a real big issue and can make people extremely ill. It isn't a subject that people easily feel they can talk about, so we wanted to focus on something fun to help improve awareness of bowel care. And with a giant inflatable bowel there isn't a lot else people can focus on.

"It really helped to bring the issue to life and visualised just what is going on in your tummy to promote conversation, debate and give people the confidence to talk about it with a fun yet educational introduction."

Around 300 people attended The Big Health Day 2016 which took place at Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, Garon Park.

The event was organised by Project 49 - a community based resource run by Southend Borough Council - and South Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust.