The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce today announces its support of the Kentucky Cancer Foundation (KCF), a non-profit foundation created to reducethe burden of cancer on Kentuckians by funding evidence-based prevention and early detection services for the uninsured and under-insured. KCF’s mission is to ensure that all Kentucky citizens have access to life-saving preventative and early detection cancer services, regardless of their financial situation.
This work implements priorities of the Kentucky Cancer Action Plan, a guiding document for organizational efforts in cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and quality of life. The plan is developed and maintained by the Kentucky Cancer Consortium (www.kycancerc.org), Kentucky’s statewide comprehensive cancer control coalition made up of over 40 organizations working together to reduce cancer in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky is one of the worst states in the nation for cancer. Each year, there are more than 24,000 new cancer cases and 9,500 Kentuckians die from the disease. Not only does our high cancer rate reduce the quality of life for our citizens and drain families, it also has a significant fiscal impact on state government. As the Kentucky Chamber highlighted in its Building a Stronger Bucket report, Medicaid spending grew about three times faster than the overall state budget from 2000 to 2012 (117% vs. 41.4%). Increasingly, Medicaid dollars are being used to treat cancer.
Research has shown that spending more money to treat existing illnesses isn’t the long-term answer, but rather making strategic investments in health promotion and disease prevention. KCF’s cancer prevention efforts will primarily target lung, breast, cervical and colon cancers, which account for 54% of all cancer deaths in Kentucky. Its first project is a public-private partnership with state government to screen 4,000 uninsured Kentuckians for colon cancer. Through private donations and grants, the foundation will match the state’s $1 million investment over the biennium. If found early, treatment costs for colon cancer average $30,000 for a patient, while costs for a patient with late stage cancer are estimated at $120,000. In many cases, screening can also prevent colon cancer altogether.
If you would like to learn more about KCF or contribute to the foundation, please contact Jack Hillard at (859) 489-9135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.