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Kentucky Colon Cancer Prevention Program

Blue star symbol for colon cancer awareness

March is Colon Cancer Awareness Month!  Show your support on Friday, March 2, 2018 by wearing blue!

The Kentucky Colon Cancer Prevention Program is a population-based public health initiative to reduce new cases of colon cancer, along with associated disability and death, with the involvement of state, regional and local health professionals.

Did You Know?

Most health insurers must cover colon cancer screening at no cost

Kentucky law states that most health insurance companies must provide complete colorectal cancer screening specified by the American Cancer Society guidelines at no cost to the insured.  This means that even if a non-invasive test like the Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT) comes back positive and the insured needs a colonoscopy, then both the FIT and colonoscopy shall be covered as preventive and no deductible or coinsurance amount will be collected. 

Colon Cancer Screening Advisory Opinion 2015-03

Colon Cancer: General Information

What is Colon Cancer?

Colon cancer is a cancer that starts in the colon.  It is referred to as colorectal cancer sometimes, which also includes rectal cancer.  The only main difference being where the cancer begins.  

Is Colon Cancer Preventable?

In some cases, colon cancer can be stopped before it starts.

  • Colon cancers almost always develop from precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum.
  • Screening tests find polyps so they can be removed before they change into cancer.
  • Screening tests find colon cancer early, when treatment works best and the chance for a full recovery is very high.
  • The most effective way to reduce your risk of colon cancer is by having colon cancer screening tests beginning at age 50.

Take the Quiz

Screening Fact Sheet for Patients

Screening Fact Sheet for Professionals


Polyps are growths on the inner wall of the colon or rectum. They are common in people older than 50. Most polyps are benign (not cancerous), but some polyps (adenomas) can become cancer. Finding and removing polyps may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.

Picture of Polyps

Risk Factors

Are you at high risk of developing colorectal cancer?

The risk of developing colorectal cancer increases with age. Screening tests for colorectal cancer should begin soon after turning 50 and continue at regular intervals or at the recommendation of your health care provider. However, you may need to be tested earlier or more often if your risk factors include:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Certain hereditary syndromes
  • A personal or family history of colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer


Colorectal cancer first develops with very few, if any, symptoms over a period of years. This is why screening is important. However, symptoms may include:

  • Blood in the bowel movement
  • A change in bowel habits
  • Stools that are narrower than usual
  • General, unexplained stomach discomfort
  • Frequent gas, pain or indigestion
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chronic fatigue

These symptoms also can be associated with other health conditions. Discuss any of these symptoms with your doctor. Only your doctor can determine why you have these symptoms.

Healthy Choices and Lifestyle Factors

Recent studies indicate that certain lifestyle choices may increase your risk of colon cancer. Although screening is the best way to decrease your risk of colon cancer, you also can improve your overall health and decrease your risk if you:

  • Eat nine servings of fruits and vegetables each day
  • Maintain a normal weight
  • Limit fat in your diet
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Avoid tobacco, including smokeless products
  • Get regular physical exercise
Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening Program Advisory Committee

Members of the KCCSP Advisory Committee represent key organizations and people affected by colon cancer in Kentucky. The function of the advisory committee is to provide recommendations on overall implementation and conduct of the program per KRS 214.544.

Contact Information

Kentucky Colon Cancer Prevention Program
Brian Boisseau, Program Manager
275 E. Main Street, HS2WE
Frankfort, KY 40621
Phone: (502) 564-7996


Last Updated 2/20/2018