No one in my family has ever been diagnosed with breast cancer and for that, I'm deeply grateful. But that doesn't mean that I haven't known women who have had breast cancer and watched the very painful journeys they've been through. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and so when I came across this information about Montana women and how often they get mammograms, I thought this was a necessary PSA.  

The Prevalence of Female Breast Cancer

With the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention coming from 2020*, “in the United States, 239,612 new cases of Female Breast cancer were reported among women and 42,273 women died of this cancer.” The rate of new cases per 100,000 women for the United States is almost the same as the rate in Montana, 119 for the US vs. 119.6 in Montana.

Montana Mammogram Rates

Using additional data from CDC, the website found that women in Montana are at the eighth highest rate for skipping mammograms. A mammogram is recommended every two years for women aged 50 to 74, according to the United States Preventative Services Task Force. This data is saying that many women are not getting mammograms within two years.  

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Make an Appointment, Remind a Friend

It can be difficult to remember all the various appointments that are necessary when keeping up with personal health. And depending on your health history, your risk factors may be low. But if you haven't had your recommended tests, or if you have a friend who hasn't had their recommended tests, especially now during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please remind them. Maybe we can help save a life.  

*From the CDC: "Use caution when interpreting 2020 data. The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted health services, leading to delays and reductions in cancer screening, diagnosis, and reporting to some central cancer registries. This may have contributed to the decline in new cancer cases for many sites in 2020."

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