No Need to Quarantine Your Screening Mammogram
Every October, without fail, we see lots of PINK! For most of us the pink ribbon is synonymous with Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), but do you know its origins? The first awareness month was in 1985, headed by Betty Ford after her breast cancer diagnosis, although the pink ribbon wasn’t specifically associated with the cause until 1992 when Estee Lauder handed out nearly two million ribbons to draw attention to the importance of breast health.
Awareness month in 2020 will be different, with the walks and events transitioning to virtual activities. Breast Cancer Awareness Month will have the same purpose nonetheless — to encourage involvement in the fight against breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Awareness is as important as it has ever been, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic, some women are postponing their cancer screenings, including breast cancer screening. Women are faced with the decision of postponing annual mammography screening to avoid potential exposure to the virus. While many of us rightfully delay mammograms due to immediate COVID-related concerns, medical imaging centers have resumed offering mammograms and are taking all possible steps to keep patients safe.
Knowing all the facts is crucial when making this decision, as postponing routine screening does pose health risks. Breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women (except for skin cancers) and is one of the most treatable forms of cancer when detected early. Performing routine, annual screening mammography plays an integral role in the early detection of breast cancer, as women diagnosed with early breast cancer (when the cancer is small and has not spread) have a high chance of survival. Delays in screening can lead to delays in diagnoses leading to more advanced cancers and more invasive treatment options. The risk of developing cancer doesn’t go away just because there is a pandemic.
It’s smart to be cautious, but mammography saves lives. Check with your mammogram provider about safety protocols they have in place, but don’t put it off. If you are a woman age 40 or older — National Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a perfect time to schedule your yearly mammogram appointment.
The pink lights are on at Elizabeth Wende Breast Care, so don’t hesitate to keep your appointment, or reschedule one you may have missed. It’s about women making their health a top priority and that means keeping up with annual screenings and taking charge of your breast health.