Should I Get a Mammogram During COVID-19?
October 15 • 2020
It’s October, so you know what that means – it’s Breast Cancer Awareness month!
It’s time we put our health back in the forefront.
Since April, the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., it’s no surprise people put their routine health care appointments on hold, like their annual mammogram. And while putting them off for six to eight weeks is not a huge deal, pushing them out any longer could do more harm than it can good. After all, cancer doesn’t stop to make room for COVID-19, which means your screenings shouldn’t stop either.
Mammograms are key for early Breast Cancer detection.
We know that early detection is the best protection against breast cancer, and the greatest effect of postponing a mammogram is unique to every person. But cancer left undetected could lead to more severe symptoms and unfortunately, even a higher stage of cancer.
Mammograms detect breast cancer early, sometimes even up to three years before patients start showing symptoms. That’s why they are the most efficient tool to find and diagnose breast cancer early when chances of survival are still high. Skipping an important cancer screening like these can be too risky, and in many cases, even life-threatening.
Benefits of a 3D mammogram:
A 3D mammogram captures several images of the breast tissue, creating a 3D image. This produces less false positives and allows a more accurate finding of any breast cancer – when it’s most treatable.
And our Pink Ribbon Imaging Center is home to two of the state’s Genius 3D mammography machines, which means you’re in the best care possible.
Who should schedule an annual mammogram?
As recommended by the American Cancer Society, a mammogram screening is encouraged annually for women 40 years and up. This kind of yearly mammogram is a routine check for breast cancer, specifically for those who have experienced no symptoms or found any lumps.
These screenings are typically covered under all commercial insurance providers, as it is a preventive service for women age 40 and older.
Is it safe to get a mammogram during the COVID-19 pandemic?
If you’re not feeling sick or have any symptoms related to the coronavirus, then it is absolutely safe to get your annual mammogram. We understand many feel uncomfortable to come in for an appointment that may not seem necessary to them, but let us urge you not to neglect other important parts of your health in an attempt to avoid COVID-19.
Let us assure you that it has always been our top priority to keep our patients and staff safe, especially during the pandemic. With an abundance of caution, we have taken the necessary steps to help reduce the risk and exposure of the coronavirus while at our office.
▪ Mask Policy: All employees are required to wear a mask, and it is encouraged that patients wear a mask as well to help protect our staff.
▪ Screening Prior to Entry: Pre-screening questions are required before entering our building for both our patients and employees. Only those without COVID-19 symptoms are allowed to be seen in the office. Temperature screenings are also required before entering, to ensure no one has a fever.
▪ Disinfecting Protocols: We have highly increased our cleaning and disinfection protocols, wiping down all equipment and surfaces on a daily basis. Imaging machines have always and will continue, to be sanitized before and after each use to help reduce germs.
▪ Reduced Waiting Time: Appointments are scheduled to help reduce the number of people in our waiting room at the same time. We also offer extended hours and Saturday appointments, allowing more people to be seen in a timely manner.
▪ Sick Patients: If you are feeling sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, we will happily reschedule your visit for another date. Just give our office a call, and we’ll take care of the rest.
Know what the risks are.
Did you know that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime? And there are currently more than 3.5 million American survivors, including women who are still being treated. That’s not something to take lightly. Making time for this yearly screening is a crucial part of maintaining your overall health and wellness against fighting breast cancer.
Though we understand this can be frightening to some, we encourage you to let the statistics outweigh your fears of getting a mammogram. Your life, your friend’s life, your neighbor’s life…whoever it may be, that life matters. So, let’s support each other, and let’s support the one.