NYC Health + Hospitals is reminding New Yorkers to schedule screening mammograms and other breast cancer screenings as the system observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
According to the American Cancer Society, it is estimated that more than 43,000 people this year will die from breast cancer in the U.S., with an estimated 281,550 new cases of invasive breast cancer being diagnosed. The delaying of these critical health screenings can lead to later diagnosis of serious diseases, such as cancer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported an 87 percent decline in the total number of cancer screening tests received by women through its National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program during April 2020 as compared with the previous five-year averages for that month, which coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We must use every available health tool to ensure our bodies are as healthy as possible. While we have had our daily routines disrupted with such disasters as pandemics, hurricanes, and floods – it is important to remember that preventive health care and cancer screenings make a difference in the life we live. This includes critical health screenings, such as mammograms that could help detect breast cancers early on and increase chances of minimally invasive treatments and remission,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD.
All NYC Health + Hospitals patients now have the option to access care from their home through a phone or tablet when it’s clinically safe to do so, including primary care and over 90 specialty care services. Phone and video visits offer a safe alternative for many patients and reduce the time physically spent in a hospital or clinic. Referrals for breast cancer screenings can be made as part of a routine virtual visit with your provider.
The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that women between the ages of 50-74 years old have a mammogram every two years, while women aged 40-49 and over 74 years old should talk to their doctor and decide whether to have breast cancer screenings.
To make an appointment or find a doctor, please call 844-NYC-4NYC, and click here for more information on breast health.