Mature women in Idaho are not getting their mammograms

A new report says Idaho has the fourth-highest rate in the nation of women who don’t follow mammogram recommendations. That’s according to analysis by the website, which focuses on health and finance resources. HelpAdvisor analyzed survey data from the Centers for Disease Control to determine the percentage of women age 50 to 74 in every state and major metropolitan area who failed to get a mammogram sometime within the past two years. In Idaho, 28.3 percent didn’t get one. The national percentage isn’t too far behind. It’s 21.7 percent. Idaho’s score may have something to do with the west and wide-open spaces, or it may have something to do with the long distances between adequate rural medical facilities, because only Wyoming, Alaska and Utah had a higher percentage of mature women putting off mammograms. The average in the Boise metropolitan statistical area was 24.4 percent who didn’t have a mammogram in the past two years, which ranks 24th among the largest metro areas in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control gets its data directly from the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), which is made up of doctors and disease experts. They’re actually quite active when it comes to screening recommendations. This year alone, they’ve published recommendations about getting screened for hypertensive disorders during pregnancy, lipid disorders in children and adolescents, anxiety disorders in adults and seniors, depression and suicide risk in adults and seniors, latent tuberculosis infections, skin cancer and genital herpes. They also this year have recommended two new preventive medications. They recommend doctors prescribe pre-exposure prophylaxis for the prevention of HIV and folic acid supplements to prevent neural tube defects. The good news for women in Idaho is that even with the current political exodus of obstetricians and gynecologists, there are still lots of places to schedule a mammogram, including Intermountain Medical Imaging, the Saint Alphonsus Breast Care Center, Women’s Health Associates, the St. Luke’s Breast Cancer Detection Centers, Trinity Health, the Boise Radiology Group and Teton Radiology, among others. If you happen to choose Teton Radiology, you might want to ask them whether they’re named for the Teton Mountain Range, which is about a six-hour drive from Boise, or the fact that in French, the literal translation of the word “teton” is “nipple”. Either way, it could be a good way to break the ice.