Colon Cancer Information
Colon Cancer hits home hard for our team! D.J. Everett III, the president of Ham Broadcasting and owner of WKDZ and WHVO passed away in February 2015, after a long battle with Colon Cancer. It’s a battle we continue to fight in honor of him. In this page we hope to bring awareness to this terrible cancer, and to potentially help save lives through educational information and links to useful resources.
PLEASE NOTE: If you or someone you know is uninsured and needs a colorectal cancer screening, there are links and contact #’s from the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program at the bottom of the page under Screening Resources.
What is Colon cancer?
Colon cancer is cancer of the large intestine (colon), which is the final part of your digestive tract. Most cases of colon cancer begin as small, noncancerous (benign) clumps of cells called adenomatous polyps. Over time some of these polyps can become colon cancers.
Polyps may be small and produce few, if any, symptoms. For this reason, doctors recommend regular screening tests to help prevent colon cancer by identifying and removing polyps before they turn into cancer.
Signs and symptoms of colon cancer include:
- A change in your bowel habits, including diarrhea or constipation or a change in the consistency of your stool, that lasts longer than four weeks
- Rectal bleeding or blood in your stool
- Persistent abdominal discomfort, such as cramps, gas or pain
- A feeling that your bowel doesn’t empty completely
- Weakness or fatigue
- Unexplained weight loss
Many people with colon cancer experience no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. When symptoms appear, they’ll likely vary, depending on the cancer’s size and location in your large intestine.
Colorectal Cancer in Kentucky
Kentucky continues to have the highest colorectal cancer incidence rate in the U.S. compared to all other states. Colorectal cancer is a significant public health problem in Kentucky, and the second most commonly diagnosed invasive cancer affecting both men and women after lung cancer. Over 2,700 individuals are diagnosed with colorectal cancer in Kentucky each year. A greater burden is found among men, African-Americans, the Appalachian population, and rural areas.
Colon Cancer Mortality
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in men and women combined in Kentucky, as well as the United States. Despite making progress in reducing colorectal cancer incidence, many Kentuckians still continue to die from this disease, with over 850 individuals dying in 2014. During 2009-2013, Kentucky’s CRC mortality rate was 5thhighest in the nation, compared to all other states.
It is very important to screen and detect colorectal cancer early. When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for colorectal cancer is more than 89%. Learn how screening saves lives here…
When to see a doctor
If you notice any symptoms of colon cancer, such as blood in your stool or an ongoing change in bowel habits, do not hesitate to make an appointment with your doctor. Talk to your doctor about when you should begin screening for colon cancer. Guidelines generally recommend that colon cancer screenings begin at age 50. Your doctor may recommend more frequent or earlier screening if you have other risk factors, such as a family history of the disease.
If you know of someone who is uninsured and needs a colorectal cancer screening from the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program, please call 1-800-633-8100. KENTUCKY’S CANCER ACTION PLAN provides information on goals, objectives and strategies. Visit www.kycancerc.org/canceractionplan/