FOX 47 - Health News
"We set everything up and I was ready to go," Waldhart said. "Two days before I was supposed to have it, I got a call from my nurse saying the insurance company had denied it, and wouldn't pay for it."
Waldhart's family had some money problems at the time, so he put the colonoscopy on hold. Four years later, he finally got the test, and learned he had stage IV colon cancer.
Waldhart had surgery to remove part of his colon, and 13 chemotherapy treatments.
"It wears you out, pretty bad toward the end," he said.
Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. -- 150,000 Americans are diagnosed every year.
Last year, colon cancer killed 900 people in Wisconsin.
"One of the things that makes colon cancer different from many forms of cancers is it takes a long time for colon cancer to form," said Dan Mulkerin, M.D., an oncologist at UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Dr. Mulkerin says routine screening save lives, "About 80 to 90 percent of colon cancers are completely preventable."
Colonoscopies reveal pre-cancerous polyps, which are subsequently removed, reducing the risk of cancer.
Still, many insurance companies don't cover the cost of routine tests, until a patient has symptoms, like blood in the stool. By then, it's often too late.
The Wisconsin Senate passed a bill in October of 2009 requiring insurance companies to cover colonoscopies, for everyone 50 or older, and younger people who are high risk (based on American Cancer Society guidelines).
However, when it got to the Assembly, lawmakers there stripped away that requirement. Instead, they want the state insurance commissioner to make the decision.
Waldhart, who testified before the legislature, says he hopes they reconsider. For now, his cancer is in check.
"It could come back at anytime. My doctor told me I will never be cancer-free. It's always going to be on my mind. I think about it everyday."
The American Cancer Society says it's still unclear whether the federal health care reform bill will cover colon screenings.
Sun. - Fri. on FOX 47 News at 9!
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|Patient at New York City hospital tests positive for Ebola|
A health care worker who recently returned from West Africa is being tested at a New York City hospital for possible Ebola, officials said.
|Cuomo, Christie say they will require Ebola quarantines|
The governors of New Jersey and New York said Friday they are ordering a mandatory, 21-day quarantine for all doctors and other travelers who have had contact with Ebola victims in West Africa.
|3-year-old one-armed golfer amazes with 100-yard drives|
The most amazing golfer in Florida these days isn’t Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy.
|Quadruplet mom-to-be recovering after emergency surgery|
A Utah mother expecting quadruplets is back recovering in her home state Friday, after being flown to California for emergency surgery on one set of twins.
|Report: Only 6 percent of US hospitals feel prepared for Ebola patients|
Only 6 percent of U.S. hospitals say they’re well-prepared to receive a patient with Ebola, according to a survey of infection prevention experts.
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Two and a Half Men
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Modern Family
6:30pm World Series Game #2 Pregame Show
7:00pm World Series Game #2: "Royals vs. Giants"
** Times Approximate after baseball **
10:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
10:35pm Modern Family
11:05pm Mike & Molly
11:35pm Mike & Molly