Breast Cancer Awareness Month (BCAM), October 2021, went by in the blink of an eye. This BCAM felt different though. The traditionally ubiquitous pink, the social media accounts plastered in pink ribbons were so much less visible this year.
BCAM 2021 was dimmer; its message of breast cancer awareness overshadowed by the constant threat of COVID-19.
But as we’ve said so many times, breast cancer does not go away because there is a global pandemic. That’s why we are pleading with you, please don’t skip your mammogram.
Why Women Skip Mammograms
Even in normal times, women frequently skipped mammograms for a myriad of reasons. From a fear of discomfort, to simple procrastination, showing up to that mammography appointment has always been low on the priority list. As a leading women’s imaging center in New Jersey, educating patients on the importance of the early detection of breast cancer has always been a challenge.
Since COVID-19 ravaged the world in early 2020, we’ve noticed an increase in mammogram hesitancy. From a fear of being exposed to the virus and bringing it home to loved ones, to anxiety around receiving a false positive mammogram result immediately following a COVID vaccination*, to simply not thinking you are at risk for the disease.
Delaying Mammograms Can be Deadly
A recent study out of the UK found that nearly 1 million women skipped out on mammography appointments at the height of COVID – and as a result 8,600 could be living with undetected breast cancer.
In our Bergen imaging practice, one of our patients missed her mammogram early in the Pandemic, and when she came in over a year later, she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer. With early detection via mammography her breast cancer diagnosis could have been prevented.
This is why it is so important to schedule your mammogram if you haven’t already. While in past years, Breast Cancer Awareness Month has faced condemnation for ‘pink washing’ – this year, the most important message of BCAM – to increase early detection of breast cancer via screening mammography – has been drowned out.
Don’t wait any longer. Please don’t skip your 2021 mammogram . Call Bergen Imaging Center at 201-568-4242 to schedule your appointment today.
*After receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, some women develop swollen lymph nodes under their arm on the same side as the injection. Radiologists look for changes on your mammogram – including swollen lymph nodes – as it can be a (rare) sign of breast cancer.