A week ago, 41-year-old Lisa Damm, got her first mammogram.
“My OB-GYN had told me to get a mammogram, you know, when I tuned 40, and I did not,” said Lisa.
Lisa put it off. Then, fear of catching the coronavirus kept her home. But seeing a 45-year-old friend with no family history of breast cancer fight the disease, changed Lisa’s mind.
“It was a real scare for everybody,” Lisa told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.
Data from electronic medical records company Epic indicates that routine cancer screenings, including mammograms, plummeted by up to 94% in March when Americans were urged to delay them because of the coronavirus. Now, doctors are urging people to reschedule to prevent deadly cancers from going undetected.
A Denver mammography center is echoing the call for women to get screened.
Lisa was screened at Solis Mammography, but overall appointments are down.
“The numbers are probably around 70% of our normal volumes,” said Dr. Andrea Parada, breast radiologist and Medical Director at Solis Mammography, a department of Rose Medical Center.
Dr. Parada ties the decline to COVID-19, but she advises women that a mammogram every year can mean early detection and save lives.
“Annual screening, starting at the age of 40, decreases mortality from breast cancer by 40%, she said.
At the center at Rose, they wear masks, take temperatures, social distance and sanitize.
At Solis Mammography, they say their facilities are safer than the supermarket, so there is no reason not to come in for your annual screening.