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Interactive maps help connect Montanans impacted by cancer with resources

Health Watch graphic for MTN
Posted at 2:16 PM, Feb 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-16 16:18:55-05

HELENA — The Montana Cancer Coalition in partnership with the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services recently released two interactive maps to help Montanans affected by cancer more easily find available resources near them. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Montana according to CDC mortality data.

“Montana 20-30 years ago was a place that was difficult to find high-quality cancer treatment. That is no longer true,” said Becky Franks, CEO of Cancer Support Community Montana and chair of the Quality of Life Committee for the Montana Cancer Coalition.

One of the maps helps people find screening and treatment services. The other shows quality of life services such as physical therapy, nutrition services, retreats, and counseling.

Franks says that services have been available to Montanans, but that it wasn’t always easy to track these services down. So, they worked to gather them into one single place.

“There's a lot of possibility and services available to patients but patients can't always find them,” says Franks.

The interactive maps also help give a visual representation of the treatment deserts that may exist throughout the state. This could potentially help bring changes to those areas in the future.

“We've looked for areas that are, what we call, a resource desert to be able to identify that resources are not currently available, but they could be available,” says Franks.

The maps are available online by clicking here.