Breast cancer awareness during the pandemic


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Oncologist and breast surgeon Dr. Rachel Farkas of Vega Plastic Surgery in Rochester discussed some of the key aspects of Breast Cancer Awareness Month on Monday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“So many women’s appointments were cancelled or delayed, and then women were postponing their own appointments because they were afraid to go get a mammogram,” Dr. Farkas said about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. “We know that it’s very safe right now. Our imaging facilities are all open and accepting phone calls and I think that everyone should get their mammogram back on schedule. If you haven’t had one this year please call to schedule one.”

Dr. Farkas said if there is an abnormal finding on your mammogram the next step is to see a surgeon. “We are happy to welcome you into our office. It is not only safe to be in a physician’s office right now, but we know that if any procedure is necessary, the hospitals are taking the appropriate precautions. So not to worry about that either.”

With early stage breast cancer in particular there are a lot of options when it comes to treatment. “Broad strokes – it can be as conservative as a small lumpectomy or as grand as a mastectomy or a bilateral mastectomy,” explained Dr. Farkas. “With these choices comes a lot of education and so I like to welcome the patient as well as their family members or friends into the office to listen to the educational piece to understand the disease process so they can make a more informed decision.”

When it comes to creating the conditions for the most successful outcome, Dr. Farkas said, “I think the patient’s own wellness gives them the best outcome. So whether that is confidence in their surgical decision or being at peace with the treatment that they’ve decided or their treatment course, I think that when someone feels confident and empowered with their decision they have the best outcome.”

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