A cancer diagnosis is one of the most feared realities humans live with. Cancer doesn't discriminate, and odds are most people have at least one link to someone currently going through treatment. Twin Falls County has the unfortunate distinction of having not only the highest rate of cancer of all regions in Idaho, but also the highest rate of late-stage cancers.

Cancer has had an impact on my family. A few years back, my mother was informed she had breast cancer. Thankfully, it was discovered so early that it never got a chance to spread. She underwent treatment and still has follow-ups with her physicians.

Cancer also runs in my wife's family. Her father is currently being treated for three different types, and under the circumstances, is doing quite well.

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Most cancers are beatable if detected early. The problem is, most people aren't seeing physicians enough and tend to not seek help until symptoms have become severe. In Idaho, that reality is really impacting Twin Falls County. In 2022, nearly 70% of cases diagnosed were late-stage, according to data from the National Cancer Institute. The two most prevalent types of cancers in the Gem State are breast and prostate, according to American Cancer Society data.

This news is a bit shocking seeing how Ada County (525,000 people) is home to approximately 430,000 more people than Twin Falls County (92,000). Lung, melanoma (skin), and colorectal cancers round out the top five types in Idaho.

Idahoans need to follow through on yearly checkups and get to a doctor quicker if something feels not quite right.

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