Make a Healthy Choice Today!

Your Colon

Quick Read...

Feeling apprehensive about your colonoscopy? Read St. Luke's Oncologist Experiences His First Colonoscopy. It may calm your squeamies.

Did you know... The top excuses for not getting a colonoscopy?

  • I don't have time
  • I'd rather not know
  • It won't happen to me...
  • I have no family history
  • I have no symptoms
  • It might be painful
  • It might be embarrassing
  • I don't want to do the prep

They all seem so silly when you hear the words, "you have cancer". Man up. Get screened.


Bottom Line

Bottom Line

Family History

Family History



Time Is Now

Time is Now

Watch the video!

Your Colon and You


Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in Idaho men and women. It doesn’t have to be. When caught early it is highly treatable and beatable with a 95% survival rate. Prevent colon cancer in your life! Read the Screening Guidelines.

Read The Top Ten Reasons to Get Screened

Use these Resources

Jo Jo Video (2.5 min) Colorado Cancer Coalition

Jo Jo Video (5 min) Colorado Cancer Coalition

Dress in Blue on March 3rd

Personal Screening Stories

Know Your Risk Take the Quiz

What's My Genetic Risk?

Questions for the Doctor

Gut Check

Colorectal Cancer Screening Basic Fact Sheet

Colorectal Cancer Screening Guidelines

Get the Facts

Colorectal Cancer Overview

Five Myths

Straight Talk on Colon Cancer

Raise Awareness: Hang a Poster

The Bottom Line

Part of your family history?

How's your plumbing?

The Time is Now!

More Colon Cancer Prevention Posters on the Posters webpage

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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