09/10/2013 06:07 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Giant Inflatable Colon In New York To Raise Colon Cancer Awareness

Emily Thomas

It takes a lot to make New Yorkers stop and stare, but a giant inflatable human colon smack in the middle of bustling Union Square was cause for a pause.

The Rollin' Colon -- a pop-up health exhibit -- is sending a message to all New Yorkers: Check your sh*t.

"It’s hard to ignore the symptoms of colon cancer or Crohn’s disease when you are literally face-to-face with them,” said Catherine Montaldo, CCCF executive director, in a press release.

“This event is an opportunity to show everyone that screening for colon cancer is important and effective before symptoms develop,” said Dr. David Carr-Locke, chief of the Division of Digestive Diseases at Beth Israel Medical Center, in a statement.

In partnership with New York's Beth Israel Hospital, the Colon Cancer Challenge Foundation (CCCF) is hoping to bring awareness to colon cancer prevention by putting it in the public's eye.

Colorectal cancer -- also referred to as rectum or colon cancer -- is the second leading cancer killer in the United States after lung cancer, according to CCCF. It most often affects adults over 50.
colon 1
Cynthia Martinez, the organizer of 'The Rollin’ Colon,' is a proud colon cancer survivor, who self-diagnosed herself after watching an episode of the Dr. Oz show.

"I realized I had all the bad symptoms -- the linguine, the pebbles, the diarrhea. I thought it was just stress." Martinez told the Huffington Post.

"It turned out I had this big fruit-size tumor," she said. "As a 45-year-old Latina woman I never expected that."

While not working at her day job in the Dermatology Department at Beth Israel, she is fiercely advocating for all New Yorkers to get screened for early detection via a colonoscopy, which she promises isn't that bad.

As a group of teen boys huddled inside the giant pink ridges for shade from the blistering city heat, they laughed off they idea of getting checked for colon cancer.

human colon

"I don't want anything up inside my d*ck," one of the boys shouted to the group, after a quick lesson in colon cancer that apparently didn't sink in.

Hopefully, being inside that colon was an educational journey akin to this: