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)
|Few details offered on quarantines over Ebola, drawing criticism from nurse|
A nurse who treated Ebola patients in Sierra Leone is the first test case of quarantine policies now in effect in three states over heightened fears the deadly virus could be spread by health care workers returning to the United States.
|Hospital staffers reportedly take sick day rather than treat New York’s first Ebola patient|
New York City's first Ebola patient is prompting frightened staffers tasked with his treatment at the city-run hospital in Manhattan to call in sick, according to a published report.
|6 strange-but-true health tips|
Many methods to improve your health are pretty straightforward: to lose weight, eat less and exercise more; to boost your energy, get more sleep; to prevent dehydration, drink more water.
|6 tricks to manage Halloween treats|
Halloween is fun for kids – it’s a time to dress up in ghoulish garb, scream in haunted houses, and load up on candy while trick-or-treating.
|WHO: Number of Ebola cases passes 10,000|
The World Health Organization says the number of people believed sickened by Ebola has risen above 10,000.
Tonight on FOX 47
12:00pm IMSA Auto Racing: "Road Atlanta"
1:00pm Big Bang Theory
1:30pm Paid Program
2:00pm FOX College Football Pre-game
2:30pm FOX College Football: "Texas Tech vs. TCU"
6:00pm Fox College Football Extra
6:30pm World Series Game 4 Pregame Show
7:00pm MLB on FOX World Series Game 4: "Royals vs. Giants"
** Times approximate after baseball **
10:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
10:30pm Animation Domination
11:30pm Ring of Honor Wrestling