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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

IA women behind on mammograms, despite deadly breast cancer rate

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Monday, May 6, 2024   

Results of a new study show more American women are falling behind on getting critical breast cancer scans.

Nowhere is this perhaps more important than in Iowa, a state that is among the nation's leaders in lethal breast cancer cases.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. It claims about 40,000 women every year.

Researchers have historically broken down mammography use by state and demographics, but the University of Iowa's Iowa Cancer Registry Research Director - Sarah Nash - said that for the first time, this study took critical social factors into account when studying mammography use.

"And so they looked at several different things," said Nash, "and the strongest predictors among these social drivers of health were life dissatisfaction, feeling socially isolated, experiencing lost or reduced employment, receiving food stamps, lacking reliable transportation, and reporting cost as a barrier to care."

Nash said the results of this study point to the need to address social drivers and not just health care access when figuring out who needs help and how they can get it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that only 65% of women ages 50 to 74, with three or more health-related social needs, are up to date with their mammograms.

Despite acknowledging the social determinants that can stand between a woman and her mammogram, Nash and other researchers have said the number one factor is cost.

"So, to address costs, we can think about making sure preventive care remains at no co-pay," said Nash. "We have a program in Iowa called the 'Iowa Care for Yourself' program, which helps provide low- or no-cost screening for Iowans who are under insured."

Scientists estimate early detection and treatment can reduce breast cancer deaths by almost a quarter.




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