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Don't Delay Your MammogramJune 16, 2021
Screening mammography allows for early detection of breast cancer – before it can be physically felt – providing valuable time to start treatment. Many women have delayed routine screening mammography due to the COVID pandemic. A recent study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) stated, “The delay in diagnosis will likely lead to presentation at more advanced stages and poorer clinical outcomes.”
“Even during this unusual time, yearly mammogram screenings remain a critical piece of early detection of breast cancer,” says Dr. Stacy L. Krisher, Director of the Breast Health program at Redeemer Health in partnership with MD Anderson Cancer Center at Cooper. “When breast cancer is detected early, there is a better chance to achieve better clinical outcomes and increase survival rates.”
Although some women may have fears about going to a health facility during the COVID pandemic, at Redeemer Health we are taking comprehensive precautions to ensure patient safety. We have implemented extra protocols in all of our facilities, including time between appointments to allow for additional cleaning and social distancing in our waiting area.
Mammography and the COVID Vaccine
The COVID vaccine is an important resource to rid our community of the COVID virus. We encourage everyone to consider receiving the vaccine when they have the opportunity. However, please be aware of timing recommendations for scheduling your screening mammography and receiving the COVID vaccine.
Vaccines of all types can result in a temporary swelling in the lymph nodes, as your body’s immune system produces antibodies as intended. If you receive your vaccine too close to the date of your screening, this may result in a false read of lymph node enlargement.
If your screening mammogram is due now, please either schedule it prior to receiving the COVID vaccine, or delay 4-6 weeks after the final dose of the vaccine is administered. Please do not delay longer than the 4-6 weeks after the vaccine if you are due. However, if you are having an active breast issue that is concerning you or your doctor, then please proceed with any and all recommended imaging as soon as possible rather than delaying for the COVID vaccine.
If it is not possible to reschedule your screening mammogram or your COVID vaccine, then please inform the facility and the staff at the radiology center that you have been recently vaccinated.
Is it time for your mammogram?
Don’t delay your annual mammogram. Talk about your personal risk factors with your doctor to decide when to start and how often to get mammograms. Redeemer Health has five screening centers conveniently located in Bensalem, Feasterville, Huntingdon Valley, Northeast Philadelphia, and Southampton. To schedule your mammogram call 215-938-5700 or request an appointment online.