Fewer breast cancers are being diagnosed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier in the year, when the pandemic began to intensify, many health care institutions suspended their screening programs and weren't offering mammography to patients. This resulted in a nearly 50% drop in new diagnoses of breast cancer, according to a study in JAMA.
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Fewer people are being diagnosed with breast cancer because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"If you delayed getting your screening mammogram because of the pandemic, schedule it now."
Dr. Katie Hunt, a Mayo Clinic radiologist, wants patients to know it's safe and important to resume their regular breast cancer screening.
"The biggest risk of skipping breast cancer screening is that cancer has more time to grow and potentially progress into a more advanced stage."
"Screening mammography has been incredibly successful because we detect cancers when they're small and treatable, which results in better outcomes for our patients. We don't want to miss that window of opportunity. So, again, if your mammogram has been delayed by the pandemic, please don't wait any longer and come in and get your mammogram done."
Dr. Hunt recommends women start yearly screening mammograms at age 40.
Information in this post was accurate at the time of its posting. Due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, scientific understanding, along with guidelines and recommendations, may have changed since the original publication date.