Breast cancer in South Dakota

The state Department of Health recently published a new monograph on breast cancer in South Dakota. Screenings (a mammogram within the two preceding years) among women age 40 and older exceed the 2010 goal of 70 percent. However the rate has been above that target for a decade and remains on a plateau between 70 and 80 percent.

Among the report’s findings:

South Dakota expects 530 new cases of female breast cancer and 100 deaths due to this cancer in 2009. Excluding cancers of the skin, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death for South Dakota women.

From 2002 to 2006 there was an average of 531 new cases of invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed among South Dakota female residents each year. Of those cases, 502 were white and 24 were American Indian.

An average of 109 female residents died from breast cancer annually from 2002 to 2006. Of that number, 104 were white and 5 were American Indian.


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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

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