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Get 'em checked!

by JOSH MCDONALD
Staff Reporter | October 5, 2021 7:00 AM

KELLOGG — It’s October!

Which means that everything is going to be as pink as possible in efforts to show support for National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

One of the major local supporters of the month is Shoshone Medical Center, who are once again offering access to vital health care services during their annual Screening Saturday event.

Screening Saturday features discounted opportunities for screenings, as well as access to the hospital’s new financial counselor and access to Nurse Practitioner Teirza Bristow for private health consultations.

Although breast cancer screenings cannot prevent breast cancer, it can help find breast cancer early on and the earlier the cancer is detected — the higher the survival rate is.

SMC has added several programs and services over the years to combat breast cancer, such as their 3-D mammography service — as well as a financial counselor who can help people understand what is available to those who may not understand the ins and outs of the confusing insurance world.

The hospital also offers various voucher options for women who are in need of assistance in getting their screenings done.

SMC Radiology Technician/Mammographer Stephanie Martin explained how in Idaho, these services are available, but not taken advantage of, which is scary when you begin to look at the numbers.

“Basically, Idaho is not good when it comes to getting their screenings,” Martin said in a previous interview on the North Idaho Now podcast. “We don’t like going to the doctor, but who does? But especially with breast cancer — Shoshone County is one of 10 counties in the state that has late-onset breast cancer.”

That means the cancer appears later in life and tends to be more fatal, especially if regular, annual screenings are not done.

In fact, the state of Idaho is ranked 51 out of 51 (including Washington, D.C.) when it comes to screening numbers, and then Shoshone is among the bottom 10 counties in the state.

SMC Screening Saturday is Oct. 16, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the hospital in Kellogg.

Space is limited so call ahead to reserve your spot at 208-784-1384.