If you’re 50 or older, getting a colorectal cancer screening test could save your life. Colorectal cancer usually starts from polyps in the colon or rectum.
A polyp is a growth that shouldn’t be there. Over time, some polyps turn into cancer. Screening tests such as colonoscopies can find polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer.
These tests can also find colorectal cancer early, and if found early, the chances of being cured improves.
Those at risk include people 50 or older and anyone who has had colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer before; and have had inflammatory bowl disease, or hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer.
The bad news
In 2009, 2,658 Kentuckians were diagnosed with colon cancer. Of those, 891 patients died from the disease during that calendar year.
The good news
At least 60 percent of deaths from this cancer can be avoided if those 50 years and older are screened.
The Jessamine County Health Department, in partnership with The Refuge Medical Clinic, has received funding to help screen for colorectal cancer for people that are high-risk and meet low-income guidelines.
• be between 50 and 64 years of age,
• be U.S. citizens or qualified aliens,
• be legal residents of Kentucky,
• be uninsured,
• have income at or below 250 percent of the federal poverty level.
To learn more about this program or to see if you qualify, call the health department at 859-885-4149.