The mission of the Kentucky Colon Cancer Prevention Project (C2P2) is “to eliminate preventable colon cancer death and suffering by increasing screening rates.” On Wednesday, April 2 C2P2 came closer to achieving this when the Kentucky Senate passed the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Act (HB 415) with a 38 to 0 vote. The House passed the bill February 26 with a 94 to 0 vote.
The Act will establish a colon cancer screening program within the Kentucky Department of Public Health to provide screening services to uninsured individuals age 50 to 64 and others at high risk. A sample letter C2P2 encouraged constituents to send to their legislators said HB 415 will:
“…ensure that all Kentuckians will be educated as to the need for this cancer screening. It will assist and navigate the uninsured to seek the screening necessary to save lives.”
The letter went on to make the economic point that the very expensive cost for late stage colon and rectal cancer treatment can be greatly reduced with adequate screening. To support this C2P2 listed the following points made by Dr. Tom Tucker on November 19 in testimony presented to the Interim Joint Health & Welfare Committee:
- Approximately half (1378) of all colon cancer cases are diagnosed with late stage disease each year in Kentucky.
- It costs an average of $30,000 to treat each case of early stage colon cancer and an average of $120,000 to treat each case of late stage colon cancer. This is $90,000 more in direct treatment costs for each case of late stage colon cancer.
- If just 200 more new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed at an early stage rather than a late stage each year for the next five years, there will be a savings of $90 million in direct treatment costs.
Angela Champion, C2P2 Executive Director said, “Our efforts will continue to make sure that this legislation will result in a funded statewide screening and education program.”
C3: Colorectal Cancer Coalition gives a pat on the back to all the people who made this possible and urges constituents to contact their Kentucky Legislators and thank them for passing this bill.
Go here to read more about HR 415 and to see how your Kentucky Legislators voted.
Go here to read an op-ed piece authored by Alan Stein in favor of HB 415 published in the Lexington (Kentucky) Herald-Leader.
Go here to learn more about the Kentucky Colon Cancer Prevention Project.