It's conventional wisdom that early diagnosis of breast cancer, primarily through mammograms, saves lives. One out of eight women will get breast cancer during her life. Early detection provides a lifeline.
Yet a new report from Idaho's Department of Health and Welfare indicates that more than a third of Idaho women over 40 didn't receive a breast cancer screening in the last two years. That makes Idaho last out of 50 states in mammogram rates.
"Idaho has consistently ranked at or near the bottom for breast cancer screenings," said Patti Moran, who heads up the cancer program at Health and Welfare. "We want Idaho women to take note, and if they are 40 or older and haven't had a mammogram this year, to make an appointment today to get screened. It could save her life."
It's estimated that 95 percent of women diagnosed at an early state survive five years or longer. The American Cancer Society recommends yearly mammograms for women beginning at age 40. Since 2008, cancer has been the leading cause of death among women in Idaho.