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Don’t Put Off Your Mammogram Because of COVID-19

Don’t Put Off Your Mammogram Because of COVID-19

From getting vaccinated to wearing masks, you’re taking all the recommended precautions to stay healthy during the pandemic. So why are you putting off your mammogram? Especially when that mammogram could be what saves your life.

Women have been smart to “play it safe,” during the pandemic, but now “playing it safe” means continuing to talk to your doctor about scheduling your mammogram.

Breast Cancer by the Numbers

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in US women, after lung cancer. The average risk of a woman in the United States developing breast cancer today is about 13 percent or one out of every eight women. A woman’s risk of developing breast cancer nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer. However, only 15% of women who get breast cancer have a family member diagnosed with it. Perhaps the most alarming breast cancer statistic, it’s estimated that 43,600 women will die from breast cancer in 2021.

Mammograms Save Lives

A mammogram is an x-ray picture of the breast that doctors use to detect early signs of breast cancer. Mammography is the most effective diagnostic tool available to detect breast cancer early and can sometimes detect an abnormal mass up to three years before a lump can be felt.

“We know that getting regular screening mammograms lowers a woman’s risk of dying from breast cancer,” said Archbold radiologist and fellowship-trained breast imaging specialist Brandi Lanier, MD. “Screening mammograms help us detect cancer at its earliest stages, which increases your chance of survival if you’re diagnosed with breast cancer.”

Put simply, missed mammogram appointments may lead to delayed cancer diagnoses.

“If a patient waits to get a mammogram until there is a symptom of breast cancer such as a lump, the cancer may be more advanced, requiring more aggressive treatment,” said Dr. Lanier. “I strongly encourage women to begin screening mammograms at the age of 40 and to have one every year. If you have a family history of breast cancer, you may need to begin before the age of 40.”

It’s Safe to Get Your Mammogram at the Archbold Women’s Center

When it comes to the pandemic, there is a lot of uncertainty. But one thing we know for sure is cancer doesn’t stop for COVID-19. That’s why it’s important to schedule your annual mammogram at the Archbold Women’s Center.

As long as you are feeling well and don’t have symptoms of COVID-19, it’s safe to get a mammogram.

Archbold has taken extra precautions to ensure all of our patients stay safe. For healthy women coming to get a mammogram, some of those precautions include:

  • Screening phone calls before your appointment to ensure you are feeling well and free of any COVID symptoms
  • Face masks and hand sanitizer are available to visitors at all entrances.
  • Everyone on our campus is required to wear a face mask at all times.
  • We have limited visitors at this time to one guest per patient, and seating areas are spaced out in all of our waiting areas to comply with social distancing guidelines.
  • All mammography machines are thoroughly sanitized after each use.