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Utah women are failing when it comes to mammography

Mammography is recommended yearly for all healthy women over the age of 40. Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — One woman dies every 13 minutes in the United States from breast cancer.  And women in Utah are far behind the rest of the country when it comes to mammography screening for the disease.

According to the Utah Cancer Control Program, every county in Utah except for two falls below the national average for screening rates. The two counties with screening rates above the national average are Wasatch and Summit.

Dr. Susan Madsen of Utah Valley University’s Utah Women and Leadership Project, spoke on “A Woman’s View,” telling host Amanda Dickson one of the most frustrating excuses women give for not getting mammography is they don’t have time.

Madsen says, surprisingly, it’s not working women who use that excuse but stay-at-home moms.

Women of color and women living in poverty are also not getting screened.  Madsen says 40% of single mothers live below the poverty line and can’t afford mammography.  And those without insurance find it difficult to pay for the test.

For a woman with average risk, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommends annual mammograms starting at age 40. More information is available from the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.