Don’t delay: women urged to schedule mammogram appointments
Women are delaying life-saving breast cancer screenings during COVID
Needham, Mass. – According to a recent study, as many as one in three women who have never had cancer delayed getting a mammogram during the past 18 months. The reason? Fear of COVID-19.
“Many women have delayed their screening mammogram throughout the pandemic and haven’t returned to annual screening. The number of women being screened hasn’t return to pre-pandemic levels even now,” said Vandana Dialani, MD, chief of Breast Imaging and co-director of the BreastCare Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham, and assistant professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School. “As a result, we have seen the highest cancer detection in the last year as many patients missed their yearly mammograms.”
Keri Correa of Roslindale, a 46-year-old accountant, didn’t think twice about getting her mammogram last January and is very happy she didn’t delay it. She says it saved her life. “I totally feel like I dodged a bullet. I never felt bad,” says Correa who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer. “I do a self-exam every month and didn’t feel a thing, even the surgeon had trouble finding it because it was low and deep.” After having surgery in April, followed by radiation and chemotherapy, she is now cancer-free.
When breast cancer is detected early, 99% have a five-year survival rate, said Dialani. “I strongly urge all women to schedule their screening mammogram if they haven’t yet. It’s quick and we take all precautions: we sterilize the equipment, waiting rooms, and exam rooms.”
“I have a new lease on life,” said Correa. “Mammograms save lives. It’s cliché, but it’s true.”
About Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital - Needham
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham (BID Needham) is a licensed 58-bed acute care community hospital. BID Needham has served residents in Needham and surrounding communities for more than 100 years. The hospital has been recognized by several organizations for quality and safety, including five-out-of-five stars from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), an “A” grade from the Leapfrog Group, the Gold Seal of Approval from The Joint Commission and the 2021 American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold Plus Achievement Award.
BID Needham is a part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, a health care system that brings together academic medical centers and teaching hospitals, community and specialty hospitals, more than 4,800 physicians and 36,000 employees in a shared mission to expand access to great care and advance the science and practice of medicine through groundbreaking research and education. For more information about Beth Israel Lahey Health, please visit www.bilh.org.