A new report shows the number of women covered by Medicare in Iowa that’re getting annual mammograms has gone down. Mike Speight of the Iowa Foundation for Medical Care says only about half of the approximately 280-thousand eligible women are having the tests. He says the rate’s been declining for several years in a row and he says it’s a concern they’ve been working on. Speight says woman may mistakenly think they’re past the danger of getting breast cancer. He says he thinks there’s a misperception that breast cancer is a young woman’s disease, and women thing once they get to the Medicare age of 60 they don’t have to worry. Speight says that’s the exact opposite of what’s true as the risk of breast cancer increases with age. He says they’re working with doctors to get them to talk with women about mammograms.He says there are lots of studies that show a conversation with their doctor about the need for a mammogram is the single biggest factor in a woman’s decision to get the test. He says they’re making doctors aware of that research and asking them to bring up the need for a mammogram when they talk with women. Southern Iowa counties showed the biggest drop in the number of women on Medicare who get mammograms. But Speight says you location in the state shouldn’t be a factor in getting the test.He says in comparison to other states, he says access in Iowa is “quite good.” He says there’s not a unit in every county, but 90-percent have access and those that don’t have access right across the county line. Speight says women may think they had a mammogram that showed nothing they’re set for a couple of years, but he says you can’t let it go that long. He says the way breast cancer develops, that leaves women at risk. He says mammograms catch the lesions or tumors early and give you many more treatment options. Speight says early detection leads to higher success rates in treatment of breast cancer.
You are here: / / Report says half the women on Medicare not getting mammograms