FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE             CONTACT: Rich Harris, 860-299-6237

July 6, 2009                                                     



            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the state is receiving $4 million in federal funds to provide colon cancer screenings for low-income and underserved residents as part of the state Department of Public Health’s Comprehensive Cancer Program, one of just 45 programs in the nation to receive the federal award.


            “Early detection is a life-saver and we are now able to provide this vital screening to more men and women,” Governor Rell said. “I am tremendously pleased that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized Connecticut’s commitment to public health through preventive cancer screenings.”


            The Governor said the $4 million funds a five-year, statewide screening program.


            Colorectal cancer, or colon cancer, affects men and women of all racial and ethic groups and is most often found in people 50 years or older. The state Department of Public Health reports that 60 percent of colon cancer deaths could be prevented if everyone over the age of 50 had regular screening.


            For men, colorectal cancer is the third most-common cancer. For women, colorectal cancer is the second most-common cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander and Hispanic women, and the third most-common cancer among white, black, and American Indian/Alaska Native women.


            Screening can identify precancerous polyps, which are abnormal growths in the colon or rectum, so that they can be removed before turning into cancer. Screening also helps find the cancer at an early stage, when treatment often leads to a cure.


            When colorectal cancer is detected at an early, localized stage and treated, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent.



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