October 28, 2020
Screenings critical for early detection and treatment of breast cancer
(Austin) – Though Breast Cancer Awareness month is coming to a close, medical professionals from Central Health-affiliated CommUnityCare Health Centers encourage the community to continue with breast cancer screenings and other preventative health services.
“Breast cancer screenings have decreased nationwide since the start of the pandemic,” CommUnityCare Director of Women’s Health Dr. Ashley Choucroun, OB-GYN said. “There is still a one in eight chance of a woman developing breast cancer in her lifetime. It is essential for women to get their recommended screenings, especially for women over 50 years old.”
According to the Healthcare Cost Institute, mammogram screening procedures fell 85% at the height of the pandemic in the United States and were down 23% at the start of August. Similar statistics apply when accounting for all mammogram procedures – 77% and 21%, respectively.
CommUnityCare clinics have taken extensive measures to maximize patient safety. Many patients can receive routine care for minor health issues or chronic conditions via telehealth, resulting in fewer patients visiting clinics in-person. If an in-person appointment is necessary, all staff and patients are required to wear facial coverings and undergo a basic health screening before entering the clinic.
“During a global health crisis, it can be difficult to decide when to avoid leaving the house or go to the doctor’s office. It is possible to stay safe and still get the care you need to be as healthy as possible,” Dr. Choucroun said. “Breast cancer screening is critical for early detection of cancer and treatment, despite the pandemic.”
In addition to health history and other indicators, some signs that might indicate a screening is needed include a swollen area under the arms, redness that won’t go away, dimpling on the skin, and any other general changes in the breast such as new lumps or discharge.
CommUnityCare is currently open for all screenings and encourages patients to schedule an appointment. For a list of CommUnityCare clinics and hours of operation, visit CommUnityCare, or call 512-978-9015.