Giant Colon CECIL at Flames Games for Colorectal Cancer Awareness

The final two regular season home games of the UIC Flames women’s basketball team featured CECIL, the University of Illinois Cancer Center’s giant inflatable colon, because March is Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. University of Illinois Cancer Center member and UI Health gastroenterologist Keith Naylor, MD, gave tours of CECIL and shared goodie bags with information cards about colorectal cancer and the importance of screening with fans before both March 7 and March 9 games and during halftime interviews streamed live on ESPN+.

The outreach was part of a new partnership the Cancer Center has with the Flames. The partnership is an opportunity to share information about cancer awareness, prevention, screening and clinical trials with our community of students, faculty, staff, their friends and families, and sports fans at games.

The Cancer Center sponsored outreach at four basketball games this season.

At the January 24 men’s basketball game, Cancer Center member H. Steven Sims, MD, a UI Health otolaryngologist, and Sodabeh Etminan, DMD, MPH, Dental Director for Mile Square Health Center – South Shore, engaged with fans about oral health and mouth and throat cancers, sharing goodie bags filled with information cards, dental floss and toothbrushes. Also at that game, UI Health urologist Ikenna Madueke, MD, PhD, spoke with fans about prostate cancer before the game and then during a halftime interview that was streamed live on ESPN+.

On January 21, Cancer Center members and staff, along with volunteers from the UI Health Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, worked the Flames women’s basketball game sharing information about cervical cancer and the importance of HPV vaccination. Cancer Center member Shannon MacLaughlan, MD, MS, a UI Health gynecologic oncologist, also talked about cervical cancer during a halftime interview streamed live on ESPN+ because January is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month. Cancer Center members Hunter Holt, MD, MAS, and Caryn Peterson, PhD, MS, helped plan the event, and volunteers that day included Lopa K. Pandya, MD, MS, FACOG, UI Health urogynecologist and reconstructive surgeon; Rebecca Commito, MD, UI Health gynecologist; Erica Hinz, MD, MPH, UI Health gynecologist; Andrea Williams, RN, MSN, UI Health Clinic Nurse Gynecologic Oncology; and Leticia Orozco, BSN, RNC-MNN, UI Health Cervical Nurse Navigator.

Outreach by the Cancer Center is planned at games for other UIC Flames sports teams.

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