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Jon Bruning Keynote Speaker at Colon Cancer Awareness Event, Thursday, March 5

February 24 2015

Lincoln, Neb. This March, CHI Health St. Elizabeth is asking the community to take a stand against colon cancer by pledging to get screened; pledging to know the warning signs; and pledging to learn your family history.

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country but is considered to be very treatable if caught in the early stages. That’s the message at a colon cancer awareness event CHI Health St. Elizabeth is hosting on Thursday, March 5.

Jon Bruning, colon cancer survivor and former Nebraska Attorney General, will be the keynote speaker. In 2013, Bruning was diagnosed with colon cancer at the age of 44. Bruning felt great and wasn’t experiencing any symptoms of colon cancer.

Bruning went to his physician, because he was experiencing persistent acid reflux. He was going under anesthesia for a diagnostic procedure and his physician encouraged him to have a colonoscopy at the same time.

During the colonoscopy, two polyps were removed – one of which was cancerous. Shortly after, Bruning underwent surgery to remove eight inches of his colon and a few lymph nodes.

Bruning considers himself fortunate that they found the cancer when they did. He wants to increase awareness about colon cancer and encourage Nebraskans to know their family health history.

Two specialists from CHI Health St. Elizabeth’s colorectal cancer team will share important health information at the event. Reggie Thomas, MD, gastroenterologist, will talk about the importance of “taking the pledge” to learn more about colon cancer. Michael Jobst, MD, colorectal surgeon, will share the latest innovations in colon cancer treatment. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and is open to anyone interested in learning more about colon cancer as well as colon cancer survivors and their guests.

“Most people with early stage colon cancer will not have any symptoms,” says Dr. Reggie Thomas. “That is why it is so important to get screened. By having a screening colonoscopy, the majority of deaths from colon cancer can be avoided and there is over a 90 percent risk reduction for developing colon cancer.”

In March, CHI Health St. Elizabeth is releasing a series of videos to raise awareness for colon cancer. The videos include Bruning sharing his experience with colon cancer and the importance of knowing your family history, and, in two videos, Jon Bruning and Dan Whitney, better known as Larry the Cable Guy, talk about the importance of getting screened. Last year, Whitney turned 50 and shared his colonoscopy experience through an online video.

For more information on the March 5 event, visit Seating is limited and guests are encouraged to register online or by calling 402-219-7000.