During the beginning of the pandemic, mammogram numbers were down across the nation. Now, they’re climbing back up.
Susan G. Komen Central Tennessee CEO Susan Eaton said a national study showed a 94 percent drop in mammograms in March. She said she’s not surprised.
“When COVID first hit, everybody did not know what to expect and how to take care and be cautious about not getting it,” Eaton said. “There was an encouragement by medical facilities and practitioners for people to not come in for, what we would consider routine procedures.”
Eaton said some medical facilities have not reached pre-COVID levels yet, but others in larger cities like Nashville and Chattanooga are 50 to 100 percent back to normal.
Last year Susan G. Komen served 875 Upper Cumberland women in 14 counties.
“We’re excited that we’ve been able to provide so many services in the Upper Cumberland area,” Eaton said. “Those services include everything from screening mammograms, navigation services, diagnostic imaging, biopsies-all the things that help women to get through the system.”
Health care facilities have taken the virus seriously, so patients feel more comfortable going to get their routine mammograms. Eaton said it’s important for women to have this procedure.
“The earlier that we can catch breast cancer, the more curable it is,” Eaton said. “Some breast cancers are more aggressive, all the more reason to detect it early. It’s proven by facts. We know breast cancer has decreased through the years because of mammograms and because of early detection.”
Eaton said although most of the time it’s fine to delay mammograms a few months, they should still be taken annually.