Every two minutes a woman in the United States is diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s more than 1,400 women every day. Breast cancer is right behind skin cancer as the most common cancer affecting women. In between these statistics there is some good news: women who get screened regularly have a 47% lower risk of dying from breast cancer. In this time of Covid19, have you missed your annual screening? So many clinics were closed to patients as our healthcare providers worked to keep patients safe from the coronavirus, many appointments were canceled or rescheduled.
“Delays in screening can lead to delays in diagnoses,” Erica Warner, MPH, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School says. “In his June 19 editorial in Science, Dr. Norman Sharpless, director of the National Cancer Institute, said that modeling predicts an excess of 10,000 deaths from breast cancer and colorectal cancer over the next 10 years because of the pandemic.”
Here in south central Wisconsin, SSM Health is implementing strategies to help people return to care and regular health screenings. Through our healthcare teams and cancer care teams we are emphasizing how important screening is. We have put in place stringent safety measures to ensure every patient has access to regular cancer screenings, mammograms and biopsies. We’ve made so much progress against cancer in the US and around the world. When we see a dramatic drop in breast cancer screening this year over last year, it can only mean one thing: breast cancers are going undiagnosed.
Schedule your annual breast cancer screening now by calling your primary care physician’s office. Talk with your friends and family, encourage them to be screened, too. All women should be proactive regarding breast cancer. It can make all the difference.