Health department offers free colon cancer screening

By Ralph Davis

September 25, 2013

PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Health Department is now in the second year of funding for the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Project. Floyd County is one of 10 counties across the state to receive funding from the Kentucky State Legislature and the Kentucky Cancer Foundation to screen residents of Floyd, Johnson and Magoffin counties.

These funds are targeted for use with people who have no medical insurance, are age 50 to 64, (may be younger if there is a family history of colon cancer), are a resident of one of the three counties listed above, and finally have an income at or below 250 percent of poverty level. Examples of 250 percent of the federal poverty level are as follows: a household of two would be eligible with a yearly income of $38,776 or less; a household of four would be eligible with a yearly income of $58,876 or less.

However, many residents are not taking advantage of the program. There is no charge for this service. An individual may call to make an appointment for this screening or a person’s physician may call to schedule. The client will receive medical clearance for appropriate colon cancer screening at the Floyd County Health Department.

As of this time several patients have undergone colonoscopy procedures having polyps removed that could and probably would have developed into cancer. This program is saving lives.

One patient said she had decided it was cheaper for her to die than to seek the colon screening she needed. She received the screening at no cost to her. She is spreading the good news of this program to everyone she knows.

If a client should receive a cancer diagnosis after the screening, there are resources in place to assist with the appropriate care they will need for the diagnosis. Clients are not just left alone to navigate the medical appointments that will be required. Trained staff will be there to assist.

It is important to use the funds as quickly as possible. If you or someone you know would be eligible for this program please call the Floyd County Health Department at (606) 886-2788, Johnson County Health Department at (606)789-2590 or Magoffin County Health Department at (606) 349-6212, for more information.