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)
|9 tips to prevent the flu during pregnancy|
Getting the flu is miserable for most people, but if you’re pregnant it can be dangerous.
|Should you work out with a cold?|
Q&A with Dr. Manny: Is it true that going to the gym when you’re sick can be good for you?
|Unpleasantly plump? Try these 11 natural weight-loss tips|
Grab your tape measure: If your waist size is greater than 35 inches (40 for men) you’re at a higher risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. (To get the right number, measure around your belly button just above your hip bones.)
|NYC Health Dept. form asks parents if 'woman giving birth' is male or female|
It may seem like a trick question but New York City has started asking new mothers if they are male or female.
|Father of birth control dead at 91|
Carl Djerassi, the chemist widely considered the father of the birth control pill, has died.
Tonight on FOX 47
12:00pm Two and a Half Men
12:30pm FOX 47 Movie: "Secretariat"
3:00pm FOX 47 Movie: "Shall We Dance?"
5:00pm Celebrity Name Game
5:30pm Celebrity Name Game
6:00pm Bob's Burgers
6:30pm The Simpsons
7:00pm The Simpsons
7:30pm Brooklyn Nine-Nine
8:00pm Family Guy
8:30pm Bob's Burgers
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm In Depth Sports with Graham Bensinger
10:05pm Big Bang Theory
10:35pm Big Bang Theory
11:05pm Mike & Molly
11:35pm Mike & Molly
12:05am Ring of Honor Wrestling