Breast cancer screenings should not be delayed due to COVID-19

Photo: Angiola Harry/Unsplash

AllianceHealth

DURANT – Breast cancer and other medical illnesses remain a risk for women – even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, due to concerns about the virus, many women have postponed their annual screening mammograms, increasing their risk of undetected cancer. AllianceHealth Durant/Madill is encouraging women who may have delayed their mammograms to schedule the screening now, because when breast cancer is detected early, life-saving treatment can begin right away.

“Monthly self-breast exams, annual provider breast exams and routine mammographic screening is our best defense in early detection of breast cancer.” said Dr. Allison Taylor, OBGYN. “Early Detection is key as breast cancer is most curable in early stages.

Early Detection Saves Lives

Nearly all breast cancers can be treated successfully if found early. The most effective way to detect breast cancer at an early, treatable stage is to have yearly mammograms. Since mammography became widely used in the 1980s, the U.S. breast cancer death rate in women has dropped 43 percent.

Here in Oklahoma, 2,933 new female breast cancer cases were reported in 2018, the most recent year data is available.

The American College of Radiology (ACR) and Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) recommend that all women, particularly African American and those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, should have a risk assessment at age 30 to see if a screening earlier than age 40 is needed. Women who were previously diagnosed with breast cancer are recommended to be screened with magnetic resonance imaging, an MRI.

For women of average risk, the ACR and SBI recommend annual mammograms starting at age 40. Different guidelines apply to women at higher risk. A screening mammogram can help detect breast cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages.

Safety Measures to Protect Against COVID-19

For the protection of patients and staff, AllianceHealth Durant/Madill asked that all patients self-screen upon entering the facilities for any COVID-19 symptoms. We are also limiting appointments to maintain social distancing, requiring staff and patients all wear masks, and cleaning commonly touched surfaces with greater frequency.

To find a primary care doctor or OB/GYN, visit the “Find a Doctor” link on the home page or call 580- 920-9063 Mammograms can be scheduled by calling 580-931-2079.

AllianceHealth Durant’s Imaging and Radiology Department has been accredited by the American College of Radiology in the field of Computed Tomography (CT), MRI and Mammography.

About AllianceHealth Durant/Madill

AllianceHealth Durant is Southeastern Oklahoma’s largest hospital—a 130-bed licensed acute care facility offering a range of inpatient and outpatient services. AllianceHealth Durant’s quality of care has been recognized by respected agencies and national accrediting bodies. AllianceHealth Durant is an accredited hospital by the Joint Commission. AllianceHealth Durant also earned Advanced Certification as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission. For more information, please visit AllianceHealthDurant.com

AllianceHealth Durant is owned in part by physicians.

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