Due to COVID-19, routines are changing, events are being postponed and plans are being canceled. However, one activity that women age 40 and older should always keep on their schedule is an annual mammogram.
Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in women and early detection is extremely important to beating the disease. When breast cancer is caught early, the survival rate is 99 percent. Additionally, for those who are at higher risk for breast cancer, whether that be due to family history, genetics or other factors, keeping up with annual mammograms is even more important. While postponing a mammogram by a month or two is okay, moving a screening six months out or waiting until next year can potentially risk that a cancer that could have been caught early will be given more time to grow and spread. The earlier breast cancer is found, the greater the chance for cure.
With COVID-19, some women may not feel comfortable coming back to a medical office. Because of this, SCL Health has instituted additional safety measures to keep patients safe and healthy. Safety measures include enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all exam rooms between each use, extra cleaning in common areas, screening for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and requiring masks to be worn by all patients, visitors and staff.
As with all medical decisions, it’s best to talk to a doctor about available options to see what decision may be best. If coming in for an appointment is not an option, women should still continue breast self-exams on a monthly basis, and if something is not right, visit a doctor to determine next steps.
As SCL Health welcomes patients back to our breast care centers, we want to remind patients to stay home and reschedule appointments if you are feeling ill.
Staying on top of vital health screenings could save your life! To learn more and schedule an appointment, visit scl.health/mammo.