colon cancer

Many Kentuckians who lack health insurance can receive free colon cancer screenings through their local health department. The program is jointly funded through the state and private donations, and targets Kentucky residents who meet certain age and income guidelines.

Madeline Abramson, wife of Lieutenant Governor Jerry Abramson, is speaking out on behalf of colon cancer awareness in Kentucky. Mrs. Abramson is honorary chair of the Kentucky Cancer Program’s “Dress in Blue Day”, a program aimed at educating the public about colon cancer.

She says the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the nation can often be detected and treated through screenings.

“It’s unusual to have a screening test where the cancer or pre-cancerous node can be taken care of at that time," Abramson told WKU Public Radio.

Abramson says some people are embarrassed to talk about the disease in the same way many refused to openly discuss breast cancer decades ago.

A public-private partnership to fight colon cancer in Kentucky appears to be gaining steam.

The Kentucky Cancer Foundation is nearing its goal of matching $1 million that Gov. Steve Beshear was able to set aside for colon cancer screening in the state budget.

Beshear and health officials provided an update on the initiative to fight cancer in a state that ranks among the worst in the nation for the disease.

Some 500 uninsured Kentuckians have already been screened for colon cancer through the initiative. That number is expected to reach 2,000 by next June.

Of those who have undergone colonoscopies, 25 percent were found to have pre-cancerous polyps that were removed to prevent the development of cancer.

The program is targeting uninsured Kentuckians between the ages of 50 and 64.

WKU Public Radio

Disease prevention specialists in Kentucky say more people in the state are becoming aware of the dangers of colon cancer.