PRESTONSBURG – The Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program (KCCSP) led by the Kentucky Department for Public Health and developed as a public/private partnership with the Kentucky Cancer Foundation will again be funding colon cancer screening in 14 health departments covering 47 counties throughout Kentucky in 2015-2016. The Floyd County Health Department has received the grant for the Big Sandy District. They will offer a free take-home FIT (Fecal Immunochemical Test) kit to all individuals who meet screening guidelines. The FIT is a test to check for tiny amounts of blood which could detect a cancer or pre-cancer. KCCSP trained patient navigators will guide patients through the process of being screened for colon cancer, either with a FIT take-home kit, or a colonoscopy if a patient is at high risk or their FIT is positive.
Men and women who are age 50-plus (age 45-plus for African Americans) or at high risk for colon cancer should be screened. To be eligible for this colon cancer screening one must be uninsured, low income, legal residents of Kentucky.
Preventive screenings are now covered through the Affordable Care Act with no out of pocket charges for those who are insured. KCCSP navigators will also work with patients who inquire about colon cancer screening to link them to kynect, the Kentucky-run health benefit exchange, so that they can receive more information about their eligibility for private insurance or Medicaid.
New this year is a statewide campaign by the Kentucky Cancer Program (KCP) called “Get the FIT Facts” which will provide information about the FIT option and colon cancer screening resources to health care providers throughout Kentucky. KCP is part of the cancer control programs at the University of Kentucky/Markey Cancer Center and the University of Louisville/James Graham Brown Cancer Center. They will be working with health departments to assist in educating the public about the importance of screening and the availability of the health departments’ colon cancer screening resources.
Thus far, more than 1,500 Kentuckians have been screened through the KCCSP, with 14 cancers detected. Polyps have been detected in 179 patients and removed before they turned into cancer.
The KCCSP has not only increased screening, but it’s affected the lives of many Kentuckians. Visit http://coloncancerpreventionproject.org/category/stories/ to learn more about the stories of Kentuckians impacted through this life-saving program.
For more information about the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program call the Floyd County Health Department at 606-886-2788 or call the regional office of the Kentucky Cancer Program at 606-793-7006.