Colorectal Cancer
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Colorectal Cancer

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the country. But when caught early, it’s very treatable. That’s the message at our Colon Cancer Awareness event called Take the Pledge on Thursday, March 5.

Jon Bruning, colon cancer survivor and former Nebraska Attorney General, will be the keynote speaker at the event. Watch the three videos below for a glimpse of his story. 

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. Learn more.

Jon Bruning, Colon Cancer Survivor: A Conversation Can Save Your Life

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.


Bruning underwent surgery, called a resection, where eight inches of his colon and a few lymph nodes were removed. Michael Jobst, MD, performed the surgery using the daVinci robot. Within three days, Bruning was back at home and returned to normal activity in a few weeks.


Jon Bruning considers himself fortunate. If he would have gone a few more years before having a colonoscopy, his prognosis would have been very different. He knows that talking about your colon can be uncommon for some, but can save lives. He is encouraging Nebraskans to know their family health history.

According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States.  The experts at the Saint Elizabeth Cancer Institute are here to support you physically, emotionally, and spiritually throughout your entire cancer journey—so you can fight back and win.