Officials with the Kentucky CancerLink recently announced that the organization has received funding from the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program (KCCSP) at the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) to help address the problem of colon cancer in the Commonwealth. With this funding, officials said, a partnership was formed between Kentucky CancerLink, the Kentucky Colorectal Cancer Screening Program and various clinics and sites across the state to provide free screening or surveillance colonoscopies to eligible uninsured and under insured Kentucky residents. Among these sites is the Little Flower Clinic in Hazard.

Through this state-funded program, officials said, Kentucky CancerLink has the ability to navigate Kentuckians to a no-cost colonoscopy for those who meet certain eligibility guidelines. This means that any individuals between the ages of 45 and 75, who are uninsured and are Kentucky residents, may be eligible for a free colonoscopy.

If anyone has a family history of colon cancer, or certain health issues that increase the risk of colon cancer, they may be eligible for a colonoscopy before the age of 45. Financial guidelines and health history can be discussed on an individual basis. If individuals have insurance with a high-deductible and have had polyps removed in the past and need a follow-up colonoscopy but are concerned about the cost, they may contact KCL to see if they are eligible for this program. This program can also cover individuals that do not have Medicare Part B coverage.

Colon cancer screening, officials said, saves lives by finding polyps before they turn into cancer. Additionally, treatment is more successful with early detection and can lead to better prognosis.

For more information about eligibility and/or to be enrolled in the program, contact Kentucky CancerLink at, 877-597-4655. For more information on colon cancer symptoms and risk factors, visit, https://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal.

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