This October, Portneuf Medical Center is proud to participate in National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We know that breast cancer is the most common kind of cancer in women after skin cancer and we are well aware that Idaho has one of the lowest mammography rates in the U.S. In conjunction with National Mammography Day, which is Friday, October 19th, the Portneuf team is urging women to schedule their own appointment for a mammogram and to remind at least one friend to schedule an appointment as well. Breast cancer typically produces no symptoms when the tumor is small and most easily treated. In fact, breast cancer is detected either during a screening examination, before symptoms have developed, or after a woman notices a lump. If we are hoping for an early diagnosis, it is important to remember that annual clinical breast exams by a physician and regular mammograms, as recommended by your primary care provider, are essential steps in the fight against breast cancer. Women should also know how their breasts normally look and feel and report any breast changes to a health care provider right away. Some women – because of their family history, a genetic tendency, or certain other factors – should be screened with MRIs along with mammograms. (The number of women who fall into this category is very small.) Talk with a health care provider about your risk for breast cancer and the best screening plan for you. According to the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, 50 percent of women 40 years of age and older reported having had a mammogram within the past year, in Idaho that number is closer to 47 percent. Please take moment and remind your wife, mother, sister, daughter and friends to get screened. Call 208-239-1500 to schedule a mammogram.