FRANKFORT, KY – Gov. Steve Beshear in his budget address Tuesday night again proposed $1 million in state funds over the biennium for a life-saving colon cancer screening program.
The funds would be matched by a private foundation called the Kentucky Cancer Foundation, for a total of $2 million over two years.
The proposal maintains the current funding for the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program, which launched in early 2013. Through the program, 10 sites across Kentucky have received funding for colon cancer screenings for low-income, uninsured and under-insured Kentuckians ages 50-64.
As of December, the program has screened 906 people. Five cancers have been caught, and about 25 percent of the colonoscopies have resulted in adenomas polyps being removed.
“This was a miracle,” said Brian Stricklin of Lexington, whose father had colon cancer and who was screened through the program. “My doctors wanted me to be screened very badly. They found three polyps. If I hadn’t been screened, the polyps would still be doing what they do. I probably would have ended up like my dad. (Now,) I know I don’t have this little time bomb in me.”
Colon cancer is the 2nd leading cancer killer among men and women in Kentucky, Indiana, and the rest of the United States. About 2,600 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in Kentucky each year and nearly 900 people will die, according to the Kentucky Cancer Registry.
The Colon Cancer Prevention Project, a non-profit on a mission to eliminate preventable colon cancer death and suffering, is planning a rally on the capitol steps at 11 a.m. on Feb. 25 to show support for funding the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program.
More information on colon cancer: ColonCancerPreventionProject.org.