LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – While many people focus on basketball during March, it’s important to note that it’s also Colon Cancer Awareness Month, an opportunity to discuss the importance of cancer screenings.

It’s part of the mission of Kentucky CancerLink, a Lexington-based nonprofit that serves the entire state of Kentucky.

“We have several partnerships. One is specifically with the Kentucky Colon Cancer Screening and Prevention Program, that helps provide no-cost colonoscopies to eligible Kentuckians who might be facing barriers to cost. We also have access to no-cost O.C. Light’s Fit kits which are also a screening tool to use at home. We just want to make sure that everyone knows about all the options that there are for colon screening,” said Melissa Karrer, executive director of Kentucky CancerLink.


Karrer said colon cancer is very treatable if caught early.

“The key to being ahead of colon cancer is to get those tests that help detect early. Kentucky is doing a great job. Over the last 20 years we’ve moved from 49 to 28th in the nation for screening and that has led to about a 30% decrease in mortality. So, there are a lot of great strides being made. We just want to continue the great work and make sure that again, people know of all the different options that there are for colon screening,” said Karrer.

The non-profit also shared tips on where to start if you want to get screened for colon cancer.

“It’s going to start with talking to your provider. 45 is the new 50 so if you are average risk, meaning you don’t have a significant family history and no symptoms, it’s time for a colonoscopy. That is the gold standard, of course, we always say the best screening is the one that people will get. So, we have other options as well and at home options,” said Melanie Hunter, director of community outreach at Kentucky CancerLink.

For more information or to schedule a screening visit kycancerlink.org.