Breast cancer screens should not be delayed because of covid-19
Breast cancer and other medical illnesses remain a risk for women, even in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, due to concerns about the virus, many women have postponed their annual screening mammograms, increasing their risk of undetected cancer. Northwest Health encourages women who may have delayed their mammograms to schedule screening now, because when breast cancer is caught early, life-saving treatment can begin immediately.
When screenings are delayed, diagnosis is delayed and treatment is delayed. But the best chance of survival from any cancer is early diagnosis and treatment. Women shouldn’t be afraid to have a mammogram. There are many strict security measures in place at our imaging centers to protect everyone from covid-19. If you’ve postponed a mammogram, don’t postpone it.
Early detection saves lives
Almost all breast cancer can be treated successfully if caught early. The most effective way to find breast cancer at an early and treatable stage is to have annual mammograms. Since mammography became widely used in the 1980s, the death rate from breast cancer among women in the United States has fallen by 43%.
Here in Arkansas, 486 new cases of breast cancer in women were reported in 2018, with most recent year data available.
The American College of Radiology (ACR) and the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that all women, especially African Americans and those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, undergo a risk assessment at age 30 to see if screening before age 40 is necessary. Women who have previously been diagnosed with breast cancer are recommended to undergo magnetic resonance imaging, MRI, screening.
For women at moderate risk, the ACR and SBI recommend annual mammograms from the age of 40. Different guidelines apply to women at higher risk. A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer at its earliest and most treatable stages.
Safety measures to protect against covid-19
For the protection of patients and staff, Northwest Health continues to maintain social distancing practices, requires staff and patients to wear masks, and clean commonly touched surfaces more frequently.
To find a primary care physician or OB / GYN, visit NW-Physicians.com or call (833) 757-9355. To request a screening mammogram, visit NorthwestMammo.com today.