Should I skip my mammogram this year?

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Melissa Kinney

Many questions are swirling right now about COVID-19, including one particularly important question: Should I cancel my mammogram to avoid the doctor’s office? A recent survey released by the Prevent Cancer Foundation reports that 35% of American adults have had a cancer screening scheduled during the pandemic and missed it.

Mammograms and other health screenings are the most effective way to identify cancers in their earliest stages – often before you experience symptoms. Delaying screenings – or skipping them altogether – may lead to detecting cancer at a later stage, requiring a more aggressive and lengthy treatment.

  • Know if you are at heightened risk for cancer. You can’t inherit breast cancer, but you can inherit a higher risk for developing it. Risk factors may include pre-existing conditions, personal health history, and family medical history.
  • Be aware of new or unusual symptoms. Look for lumps, changes in breast size or shape, irritation, redness, or swelling, among other signs. Monthly breast self-exams be done at home between annual mammograms.
  • Talk to your doctor about the best time for you to be screened. It’s a simple yet important step to take. According to the American Cancer Society, the date of your most recent screening, COVID-19 prevalence in your community, your age, and overall health are among the factors your doctor may consider when evaluating the risks and benefits for you to be screened sooner rather than later.

Don’t let fear of COVID-19 stand in the way of your health. Texas Breast Specialists is taking extensive precautions to keep patients safe. Should a cancer screening lead to a diagnosis, rest assured it can be treated safely using a combination of in-person appointments and telemedicine – because cancer care can’t wait.

Texas Breast Specialists-Flower Mound, 4370 Medical Arts Dr., Suite 100, Flower Mound, TX 75028. Call 972-537-4100. Texas Breast Specialists-Lewisville, 500 West Main St., Suite 330, Lewisville, TX 75057. Call 972-459-1330. www.texasbreastspecialists.com

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