It’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month. If you’re a woman over the age of 50, have you had a mammogram yet?

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As we near the end of October, I am issuing a challenge to the women of Idaho, who are notorious for not getting their mammograms: If you are over the age of 40, please talk to your healthcare provider about when you should start getting screened, and if you are over 50, just schedule it. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime, so there is a good chance this disease will affect you or someone you love. Other than skin cancer, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women.

Why is breast cancer screening important?

Getting a mammogram at the appropriate time in your life is important because the earlier cancer is found, the earlier you can get treatment for it. If breast cancer is discovered before it spreads, the five-year survival rate is 99 percent on the national level. But for late-stage cases, the five-year survival rate drops to 24 percent. That’s why early detection is important.  Continue reading

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DHW begins to collect reports on abortion complications

The Abortion Complications Reporting Act, Idaho Code Title 39 Chapter 95, requires every hospital, licensed health care facility, and individual medical practitioner to file a written report with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare if any woman comes under their care and reports any complication or requires medical treatment that is a direct or indirect result of an abortion (IC 39-9504(1)).

If a woman reports one of the items outlined here to her medical practitioner, and the item is an abnormal or deviant process or event arising from the performance or completion of an abortion based on the medical practitioner’s reasonable medical judgment, it must be reported using this form to the Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics if the medical provider is one of the entities or medical practitioners subject to reporting under the act.

The report must be completed within 90 days from the last date of treatment or other care or consultation for the complication. The information will be kept confidential and used to prepare a comprehensive annual statistical report for the Idaho Legislature.

 

It’s National Women’s Health Week – Take time to take care of you!

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Most of us probably spent the weekend honoring our mothers, and I’d like to talk today about the importance of women of all ages making sure they take time to take care of their health. Women often spend a great deal of time caring for others. By taking care of themselves, women can enjoy better health and set a good example for their families. Continue reading

Go Red: Heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the U.S.; know your risk!

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National Wear Red Day, or “Go Red for Women,” is this Friday, Feb. 2, so now is a good time to talk about heart health, specifically as it applies to women. Nationally, heart disease kills more women than all forms of cancer combined, and in Idaho it is the second leading cause of death for women, after cancer. In fact, cardiovascular disease in the U.S. kills approximately one woman every 80 seconds. Continue reading

January is Cervical Health Awareness Month – Regular screening is key!

 

CervicalAwareness_EarlyDetectionAll women, especially those over the age of 30, are at risk for developing cervical cancer, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say it’s also the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent, with regular screening. Getting screened regularly for cervical cancer is important because that is the most effective way to find the disease early. It is highly treatable when it is found early enough. Unfortunately, Idaho has the lowest rate for cervical screening in the United States. Continue reading

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

There’s a good chance this disease will affect your life or the life of someone close to you because it is so common. Only skin cancer has higher rates. One in eight women will develop breast cancer in their lifetimes. Nationally, 246,660 women and more than 2,500 men will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and almost 40,500 women and 440 men will die from it. Here in Idaho, more than 1,000 breast cancer cases were diagnosed in 2013 with almost 200 deaths (191 in 2014).

Let’s talk about risk. Is it possible for a person to reduce their risk?

Risk factors for breast cancer include being female, getting older, and becoming a mother later in life. Other factors include a family history of breast cancer, being overweight and not getting enough exercise. Even though you can’t control your genetic risk for the disease, you can take steps to stay healthy and help prevent it. Maintaining a healthy weight, limiting alcoholic drinks, knowing your family history, and getting the recommended regular screenings all help reduce your risk. Continue reading

Women’s Health Check offers breast and cervical cancer screenings for low-income women in Idaho

All Idaho women need access to healthcare, no matter their income. The Idaho Women’s Health Check program can provide that healthcare coverage for cancer screenings and diagnosis for women in the state who are eligible.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer for American women — 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer during their lifetimes. Cervical cancer is not as common, but it is the easiest gynecologic cancer to prevent with regular screenings. Even so, around 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer will be diagnosed this year in the United States, and nearly 4,000 women will die from it. Continue reading