TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Official cancer study numbers are in, and Idahoans are in danger. KMVT’s Morgan Rumpf investigates why cancer is still a leading killer.
"Our population is getting healthier, living longer but unfortunately more cancer,” said Community Educator Melanie Gonzales.
Cancer treatments have improved but the key is early detection & prevention.
"Cancer screenings are a way to find cancer before people even feel it. Before they know," Gonzales said.
Certain cancers start to appear in people when they reach a certain age which is when for women mammograms, and men colonoscopies are recommended.
"So our cancer screenings are done for people that are at the highest risk for cancers,” Gonzales said. “That's usually people who are over 40. As our population gets more people over 40, the chances of them getting a cancer are increased. Therefore our chances of having more people in the state of Idaho with cancer is right on target."
Regardless of the proof and success of screenings Idahoans are still not getting them done.
"Specifically in our area we are the lowest in the United States, we are the lowest in the state for mammography- breast cancer screenings, cervical cancer screenings, lowest in the state and nation. Then our lung cancer screenings,” Gonzales explained.
Out of all cancers lung cancer is the deadliest in the Gem state, due to the extremely high rate of smokers in the Southern Idaho region.
"Unfortunately the people who are dying from cancers are dying from those that are preventable by screenings and they're not getting those screenings," Gonzales said.
Besides missing screenings most won't get the testing done because they do not have health insurance to cover the costs or treatment.