While the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed down a lot of necessities and put many things on hold, Doctors are urging patients not to forget their routine checkups like mammograms. Delaying a mammogram can lead to serious health problems and some patients have had issues due to delaying their health care due to the pandemic.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the most common cancer in American women, other than skin cancer. The average risk of women developing breast cancer in her life is about 13% meaning that there is a 1 in 8 chance a woman will develop breast cancer. Nearly 44,000 women in the US will die this year from breast cancer. Allison Gleason, a supervisor of the Women’s Center for OSF Healthcare says that after the age of 40, women should be screened annually.
With the COVID-19 vaccine becoming more available, health care providers are reporting that mammogram appointments are on the rise. One concern that doctors see is swollen lymph nodes under arms, which is a possible side effect of the COVID vaccine. Swollen lymph nodes can also be a sign of breast cancer.
Medical facilities continue to clean and take precautions to help provide comfort and accessibility for patients.
The procedure for mammograms is relatively painless with the entire process taking 20 to 30 minutes to complete after check-in. Gleason encourages you to check with your primary physician if you have any questions, and the best time for your mammogram.