Make a Healthy Choice Today!

Colon Health

colonColorectal cancer screenings save lives. If you are 50 years old or older, don’t wait to get screened. Learn more here.

Colon Cancer Screening Guidelines from the American Cancer Society

Colon Health Resources

  • Colorado Cancer Coalition's "Your Colon and You" Videos [2.5 min version] [5 min version]

  • Dress in Blue on Friday, March 2nd
  • Personal Screening Stories
  • What is your Colon IQ? Take this quiz to find out!
  • What's My Genetic Risk?
  • Questions for the Doctor
  • Colorectal Cancer Screening Basic Fact Sheet
  • Colorectal Cancer Overview
  • Five Myths
  • Straight Talk on Colon Cancer
  • The Top Ten Reasons to Get Screened
  • Raise Awareness: Hang a Poster



    Get Screened






    No Excuses

    More posters available on the Heatlh Matters Posters page.

    Get motivated. Read the poems!

    The Bottom Line Poetry Contest was held in March of 2015 and 2016. Below are the winning poems from both years from State of Idaho Employees across the state. Numerous Honorable Mentions also appear. If you need motivation and encouragement to get your colonoscopy scheduled, read on!

    2016 Winners

    1st Place 2016


    My friend, we need to have a talk
    About your health and mine
    It’s sensitive, so please don’t balk
    But here’s the Bottom Line

    You need a colonoscopy
    To check for ulcers, polyps, cancer
    If you question your health history
    It can help provide an answer

    You exercise, you eat your greens
    You think you’re in the clear
    Your bill of health is pretty clean
    But please, go scope your rear

    It’s nifty that you’re fifty
    Get your procedure slated
    No need to worry about pain
    Doc says you’ll be sedated

    You need to know what’s going on and
    The best way to get a look is
    To let the doctor use a scope
    To see inside your tuches

    It’s true the scope goes through the sphincter
    There will be post-procedure gas
    Your walk may be a bit distincter
    But know that both will pass

    Don’t be stubborn, don’t be sore
    The Bottom Line is plain to see
    Starting now, forevermore
    Schedule colonoscopies

    Lt. Brian Crowl
    Idaho Department of Correction
    North Idaho Correctional Institution

    2nd Place 2016


    It's that time to really start thinking about you
    And of all the preventative things that you can do
    To get your health back to where it should be
    So let’s start with a simple colonoscopy.

    This simple procedure can give you the answer
    To know if you have polyps, tumors or cancer.
    It is an important test that can save your life
    And it will leave you without feeling any strife.

    So schedule your test today
    It may help in more than one way.

    Shawna Bell
    Idaho State Insurance Fund

    3rd Place 2016

    Ode to Your Colon

    What once was a mystery,
    Now the whole world can see.
    Through matters of technology,
    Doctors can see your anatomy.

    A prescription cocktail you will drink.
    Then have bathroom hours with time to think.
    And, although the process surely does stink,
    The procedure is over before you can blink.

    The nurses are sweet and give you a gown.
    Then offer a bed for you to lie down.
    Warmed blankets upon you, you’re wheeled all around.
    Then given a dose to help you sleep sound.

    When you awake, the procedure is done.
    You’re comfortably resting and the memories are gone.
    The results follow quickly; your song is sung.
    Return in 10 years to relive the fun.

    Jenn Gillespie
    Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

    Honorable Mention 2016

    It's Not That Bad

    Making the appointment
    Is the toughest thing to do.
    Once you have the date and time,
    The hardest thing is through.
    It's not that bad.
    Then you'll drink a liquid
    That may not taste so good.
    Use a straw or hold your nose,
    And swallow like you should.
    It's not that bad.

    A sedative is given
    Before the exam begins.
    Many are asleep,
    Before the tube goes in.
    It's not that bad.

    You'll probably miss a day of work,
    And you will have some gas,
    Which could be quite annoying
    But it's something that will pass.
    It's not that bad.

    The purpose for this test is
    To prevent and screen for cancer.
    If you're wondering if it's worth it,
    Well, that would be your answer.
    It's not that bad.

    By finding cancer early,
    When it's small and can be treated,
    You increase your odds of living long,
    Because cancer is defeated.
    And that is good.

    Margaret Prince
    Idaho Department of Health and Welfare

    Honorable Mention 2016


    A bum
    A butt
    A fanny
    A rump

    No joke
    No jest
    No prank
    No stunt

    Look in
    Look up
    Look around
    Look NOW

    Save a life that’s yours,
    Then take a bow!

    Kathy Henderson
    Idaho State Tax Commission

    Honorable Mention 2016

    Tiny camera, dark secrets
    Save a life you love

    Colin Addington
    Idaho Department of Health and Welfare


    2015 Winners

    1st Place 2015

    Twas The Night Before My Colonoscopy
    (yes, read like the Christmas poem)

    Twas the year I turned fifty, when my doctor did call
    “Time to check polyps, both large ones and small.”
    I said I’d be in, that I wanted to know 
    But I was so scared of what the test might show.

    I hemmed and I hawed, too nervous to think
    In the pit of my stomach my feelings did sink
    I gathered my courage and dialed the number
    Ready to face my colonoscopy slumber.

    “No food or drink, we need a clear view”
    I emptied my guts all the way through.
    I drank and drank, staying close to my home
    Far from a bathroom I dared not to roam.

    In the end it was worth it, so glad that I went
    Just one simple test; a few hours spent.
    The results could’ve been scary…6 polyps found,
    Caught and snipped before becoming cancer-bound.

    Cancer can lurk in the unlikeliest of places
    Especially your colon, full of small spaces.
    So my advice to you, as you read every line,
    Get yourself checked, even if you feel fine!

    Amy Lorenzo
    Professional-Technical Education, Boise

    2nd Place 2015

    Polyp, polyp, fizz, fizz
    Oh what a relief it is!
    To know that nothing blocks the way
    You're free to live and laugh and play.
    So take control and get checked out
    Your health is worth it, not a doubt.
    It's only for a little bit, there's really nothing to it...
    Just take your drinks, then sleep and BARE it!

    Denise A. Walk
    Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Lewiston

    3rd Place 2015

    I always tried to do as they say-
    To stay in shape and eat healthy each day.
    I visit my doctor once a year,
    And so I thought I had nothing to fear.
    There’s no history in my family,
    So what was the point of going to see?
    When I turned fifty, I shudder to tell,
    I ignored the card that came in the mail
    Advising me that I should be screened
    Please call and schedule, be sure you’re clean.
    Another year passed before I did call
    But finally I went and endured it all.
    When I woke up the doctor told me,
    “You have cancer, we were able to see.”
    Surgery was done and now I am cured, 
    But it could be worse, of that I am sure.
    I know others, who were not so blessed, 
    ‘Cause they were afraid of the dreaded test.
    They put it off till it was advanced.
    So don’t put yourself in their circumstance-
    Bottom Line: A colonoscopy
    Could save your life! I know it saved me.

    State of Idaho Employee
    Idaho Department of Labor

    Honorable Mention 2015

    Nothing Like the First Time

    I’m the star of the show; I’m in the light;
    No make-up, costume, or even stage fright.
    I roll on my side feeling a little exposed,
    I guess no one cares that my back side’s disclosed.

    Being quite groggy, I forgot the reason I’m here,
    Oh that’s right, you’re wanting to look in my rear.
    The doctor explains, they go through my rectum,
    “We’ve gone too far, if we deviate your septum.”

    He laughs as I smile weakly nodding my head,
    I wish they had a good movie playing instead.
    The shows not exciting just a long lighted cave,
    At least it’s cleaned out from the Fleets Phospho they gave.

    I feel some pressure, “what’s going on down there?”
    “Don’t worry, it’s normal, just a small puff of air.”
    “Small puff of air? I’m feeling some cramping!”
    He mutters “sorry” but then keeps on cramming!

    And then it’s all over, screen-test and close-up.
    Nothing abnormal not even a polyp!
    Then off to rest in recovery room number three,
    Surviving my very first colonoscopy.

    Linda A. Stevens
    State Department of Education, Boise

    Honorable Mention 2015

    “The doctor has a list of preventive things we all can do.
    Getting a screening colonoscopy is good for me and you.
    It’s almost like taking a ‘selfie’ of your colon inside.
    A flexible camera shows images that otherwise hide.
    It helps keep those unwanted deadly cancers away.
    Allowing us to celebrate living another precious day.
    It detects unhealthy things like polyps and disease.
    Check with your insurance about help with the fees.
    So please hurry now, don’t procrastinate or delay.
    Schedule an appointment for a colonoscopy today.”

    Marie Collier, RDN LD
    Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Boise

    Honorable Mention 2015

    The Bottom Line
    My confident friend had just returned,
    From having her lower half scoped.
    All was well with her backside the doctor confirmed,
    Her results were just as she hoped.

    Now her attention was focused on me,
    I turned 50 the other day.
    Says the process is painless, and over quickly,
    Wants me to get screened right away.

    So I called up the doctor and set up the date
    To go in and have myself checked.
    Said she’s going along, to make sure I wait
    At this point I had to object.

    I can do this myself but thanks for concern,
    The example you set was just fine.
    You gave me the courage and helped me to learn,
    Prevention is “the bottom line”.

    Now that it’s over I look just the same,
    I am happy my friend was so bold.
    Colonoscopy completed and I can’t complain,
    Piece of mind is worth more than gold.

    Christine Heimbigner
    Idaho State Police, Meridian

    Honorable Mention 2015

    Briefly consider your colon
    Ascending, transcending traverse,
    'Cause I've got this poem rollin'
    Keen health warnings made into verse.

    “Enough, I buy it, it's nifty
    Now, tell me, just what must I do?”
    Don't delay, now that you're fifty
    Head to the doctor, give him a view.

    Expect him to do what he's best in,
    Asking questions, not trying to pry.
    Let him look at at your large intestine.
    Then, thank him, he's a heck of a guy

    Happy colon health month !!!

    John Spalding
    Idaho Court of Appeals

    Honorable Mention 2015

    Quietly my body ached in places n’er before
    I thought, “I’m getting older, must be my muscles sore.”
    The aches went on and on and on, then a stab of pain or two
    I wondered was this normal for a healthy woman?
    The doctor said you are too young, I’m glad you heard the call
    For if you’d waited longer friend, you’d not be here at all.
    Ten years have passed, procedures many - my doctor still explains
    I don’t know why this happened to you but I’m glad you chose to

    Beth Larson
    Idaho Department of Labor, Pocatello

    Honorable Mention 2015

    Don't be Semi about your colon!

    A colon can be a punctuation between a life before and after
    You’re fateful colonoscopy.
    Many let it slip in descending order of priorities after they have
    Reached that fateful 50.
    There is nothing semi about a colonoscopy, especially when it
    Can be tied to your mortality.
    You know where a colon leads, winding down, working hard
    As long as you’re alive.
    Keep the polyps at bay, the pain and cancer away, by not waiting
    Because today is the day.
    Love yourself enough to know that this test could mean so much:
    Get a colonoscopy.

    Alexis Pickering
    Professional-Technical Education, Boise

    Honorable Mention 2015

    Now She is Alone

    Her request of me was simple
    Now she wakes alone
    She made it out of love
    Now she dines alone

    Because I was a fool,
    Her king size bed lies empty
    Because I was embarrassed
    Her slumber brings no peace

    If only I could hear her pleas
    And still have time to act
    If only I could stand with her
    Fulfill my wedding pact

    To love in sickness and in health
    To cherish what I own
    My chance is gone, and I’m to blame
    Cause now she is alone

    Steve Liebenthal

    Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Boise

    Honorable Mention 2015

    My First Colonoscopy

    There soon comes a time as we journey through life,
    When we no longer can ignore medical issues that cause us strife.
    Though we are told it will happen as we grow older,
    When we turn 50, we need to adhere to warnings and get bolder.
    We become scared when our bowel habits change,
    But to ignore it, may give our lives a short range.
    So, with my rear hanging out, I’m readied for my first colon screening.
    The meds help me relax and the people are helpful and not demeaning.
    It’s not so bad and seems to be over in seconds,
    Though, I’m feeling very hungry as my breakfast beckons.
    The worst of it all is the previous day’s drink,
    I don’t feel like I even got to sleep a wink.
    But, now I’m good for 5 years with no more fears.
    I think I’ll tell my peers that this isn’t as bad as it appears.
    Now I’m going home to take a nap.
    This colonoscopy thing was a snap.

    Rhonda Yadon
    Idaho State Controller's Office








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