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Health and Wellness Newsroom

Two Events to Bring Colon Cancer Screenings to Lower-Income Uninsured

Thursday April 17, 2014

Two upcoming events will bring colon cancer screenings to lower income men and women.
The Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center will distribute home Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) tests to program eligible people on Wednesday April 16 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. and on Friday April 25 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. at 234 Amy Ave. Those testing positive on the FIT tests will be eligible for free follow up colonoscopies. No registration is required.

Eligibility criteria for the program are: 
  • Income must be at or below 250% of the federal poverty level ($27,825.00 annually for an individual)
  • Person must be age 50 – 64 years. African Americans should begin screening at age 45. Other factors, such as family history, may also lower the screening age
  • Person must be uninsured
  • Person must be a resident of Kentucky and a U.S. citizen or a legal resident alien

The outreach events are an initiative of the Colon Cancer Screening Program, a public-private partnership to make colon cancer screening available to uninsured lower income individuals. The partnership consists of the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness, the Kentucky Cancer Program, the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center, Family Health Centers and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project.

Louisville area hospitals are making their facilities available for the project through the Surgery on Sunday program and Braintree Laboratories is donating colonoscopy prep kits.

The Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness oversees the program. “In Healthy Louisville 2020: Creating a Healthier Louisville – our community-wide agenda for improving health – we have a goal of decreasing the incidence and death rates for all cancers in Louisville,” said Public Health and Wellness director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt. “According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of cancers affecting both men and women, colon cancer is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.”

“Yet few cancers are as easily preventable as colon cancer, she added. “Removing precancerous growths – polyps - from the colon prevents the development of colon cancer. So it’s important that people get screened.”

According to the National Institutes of Health, colon cancer is 90% curable if caught early. If everyone aged 50 years or older had regular screening tests, at least 60% of deaths from colon cancer could be avoided. Kentucky ranks 4th in the nation in colon cancer deaths. In Louisville, more African Americans die of colon cancer than whites.

For more information about these events or free colon cancer screenings call the Shawnee Christian Healthcare Center at 778-0001 or the Kentucky Cancer Program at 852-6318.