Why Breast Cancer Screening Can’t Wait
July 30, 2021
Article submitted courtesy of Souzan El-Eid, MD, FACS
According to the American Cancer Society®, there will be an estimated 281,550 newly diagnosed female breast cancer cases in the U.S. in 2021, and 43,600 women will unfortunately die from breast cancer. Regionally, 2,490 Nevadan women are expected to receive a breast cancer diagnosis this year, and 400 are predicted to die from the disease.
Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact, causing widespread disruptions in cancer care prevention across the healthcare system. Breast cancer screenings stopped completely with the lockdown in the spring of 2020. Routine care resumed at reduced capacity in the summer of 2020, with a large backlog of missed screening visits.
It is too early to see the impact of all the delays on breast cancer patients’ outcomes. The longer the pandemic and its effects last, the more risk there is that women are not receiving timely diagnoses and treatment.
The road to healthy living and prevention is through continued vaccination, as well as continued yearly mammogram and breast physical screening exams. Early detection equals cure!
If a woman is considered high risk with personal or family history, that screening becomes more frequent with possible additional imaging testing and/or genetic testing. Men also need to be aware of their chest and breasts; 1% of all breast cancers occur in men, a prompt for genetic testing.
Dr. Souzan El-Eid is a breast surgeon at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, serves as the Medical Director of the Breast Care Center, as the co-chair and co-moderator of the Breast Tumor Board at Summerlin Hospital, and is a cancer liaison physician for its cancer program. She is an Adjunct Associate Professor of General Surgery at Touro University Nevada and Adjunct Professor at UNLV School of Medicine.
The Breast Care Center at Summerlin Hospital provides comprehensive breast cancer care, including 3D mammography and other screening and diagnostic services. To schedule your annual screening mammogram, call 702-233-7337.