Local doctor still urges women to get screened for breast cancer


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — October is breast cancer awareness month. Doctors say having a regular mammogram is one of the best ways to detect breast cancer so it may be treated as quickly as possible.

Doctor Michelle Shayne of the Wilmot Cancer Institute still urges women to get regular mammograms to prevent breast cancer amid the pandemic.

“We still need to go out there; we’re taking great precautions to keep people safe. But, timely diagnosis of cancer is important, and we need to have women get their mammograms at routine intervals,” said Dr. Shayne. 

One study shows that breast and cervical cancer screenings dropped 94 percent in March in the U.S. In June, breast cancer screenings were still 29 percent below pre-covid levels.

Doctor Shayne says they followed guidelines that best suited their patients. Some of it was being developed in real time so breast cancer patients could continue their therapy. 

“When we’re thinking about different treatment regimens, relative to chemotherapy, maybe lean more towards ones that are given less frequently,” said Dr. Shayne. “So say having someone come in every two weeks or three weeks instead of every single week. maybe reach for a treatment that has a shorter duration overall to limit people’s exposure to others in the treatment center.” 

Bottom line, Dr. Shayne says if you were planning to be screened for breast cancer during the height months of the pandemic and haven’t, it’s time to schedule that exam.

Doctors say all women should at least begin talking about mammograms with their doctor by age 30.

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