Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's Communications Office
Lieutenant Governor Mongiardo Helps Raise Colon Cancer Awareness

Press Release Date:  Thursday, January 22, 2009  
Contact Information:  Sarah Baird

Today, Lieutenant Governor Dr. Daniel Mongiardo helped lead the way towards greater understanding for one of Kentucky’s most common and least discussed diseases: colon cancer.

At the Veteran’s Affairs Hospital in Louisville this morning, the Lieutenant Governor filmed a public service video about his experience with colon cancer to be used to increase awareness statewide. In the video, the Lieutenant Governor discussed the importance of early detection, risk assessment testing and the need for widespread attentiveness to this often overlooked disease. 

The Lieutenant Governor’s interview is part of a collaborative effort on the part of both public and non-profit entities to educate Kentuckians about the prevalence of colon cancer. The Commonwealth recently adopted legislation requiring insurers to cover screening tests for Kentuckians at risk for colorectal cancer.  As of January 1, 2009, Senate Bill 96 requires that all health benefit plans cover colorectal cancer screening examinations for individuals in accordance with the American Cancer Society guidelines. All individuals who are 50 years old or older are covered, as well as younger individuals who are at a higher risk for colorectal cancer due to family history or a preexisting condition.

“The later colon cancer is detected, the lower the survival rate,” said Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo. “Across the Commonwealth, we must not only begin to educate the public, but provide a simpler route to frequent and accessible screenings.”

The Lieutenant Governor’s knowledge of colon cancer not only stems from decades of experience as a medical professional, but from personal experience: his mother, Katherine, lost her life to colon cancer at the age of 47.

Colorectal cancer—cancer of the colon and rectum—kills nearly 900 Kentuckians every year and is the second most common cause for cancer death in Kentucky. The number of Kentuckians who will die of colon cancer each year equals or exceeds the number who die from breast cancer, cervical cancer, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined.  However, when diagnosed early, the survival rate for colon cancer is around 90%.

For more information about how to get involved with colon cancer awareness efforts and to watch the video of the Lieutenant Governor, visit