Lt. Governor Crit Luallen’s Communications Office
Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen Encourages Kentuckians to ‘Dress in Blue’ Friday to Raise Awareness of Colorectal Cancer

Press Release Date:  Monday, March 02, 2015  
Contact Information:  Kerri Richardson
Terry Sebastian

March is National Colorectal Cancer Month; Capitol dome will be lit blue until March 6

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen today announced Friday, March 6, as “Dress in Blue Day” to kick off National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and to help raise awareness about colon cancer in Kentucky.

According to the 2015 American Cancer Society Facts and Figures, 2,090 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in Kentucky this year, and nearly 850 people will lose their lives to the disease.

“As a two-time colon cancer survivor and Gov. Steve Beshear’s partner in producing a healthier Kentucky, I encourage everyone to help us raise awareness about colon cancer, which through preventive screenings can be detected early and successfully treated,” Lt. Gov. Luallen said. “If you are 50 or older, I encourage you to make an appointment today. Kentucky has some of the worst health statistics in the nation, including the highest mortality rate for cancer, but through preventive and wellness initiatives, every Kentuckian can help us make the Commonwealth a healthier place to live, work and raise a family.” 

Gov. Beshear has proclaimed March “Colon Cancer Awareness Month in Kentucky.”  

To help raise awareness in Frankfort, the Kentucky Capitol dome will be lit blue until March 6. The Kentucky Cancer Program and the Colon Cancer Prevention Project are displaying an awareness campaign on colon cancer along the wall of the tunnel that connects the Capitol building to the Capitol annex.

Hundreds of partners across Kentucky including hospitals, businesses, churches, schools, banks and health departments are planning special activities to commemorate the month and promote screening.  

For more information on Colorectal Cancer Month and “Dress in Blue Day,” visit the Kentucky Cancer Program’s website. For information on colorectal and other types of cancer prevention, awareness and treatment visit the Colon Cancer Prevention Project website.

Lt. Gov. Luallen will speak at a “Dress in Blue Day” kickoff luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 6, at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville. Madeline Abramson, wife of former Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, will also speak at the event. Mrs. Abramson served previously as the honorary chair for “Dress in Blue Day” in Kentucky.

State Efforts to Fight Colorectal Cancers
Gov. Beshear authorized funding colon cancer screening for thousands of uninsured Kentuckians in his last two biennial budgets. Each $1 million investment is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Kentucky Cancer Foundation, for a total of $2 million to be spent over each biennium.

Grants are currently being awarded to local health departments, which have formed partnerships with community health care providers to offer services, including colon cancer outreach and education, patient navigation and colon cancer screening services.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is 90 percent when found and treated early, underscoring the need for preventive health exams like the fecal immunochemical test or colonoscopy. Screenings detect any abnormalities or early signs of cancer, like polyps in the colon. When detected early, polyps can be easily removed during a colonoscopy before they develop into cancer.