SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - We have a few weeks left in Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and medical officials want to use that time to make sure you’re aware of the importance of mammograms. Doctor Christa Jillard with SouthCoast Health’s High Risk Breast Cancer Clinic says she’s seen a drop in the number of mammograms since the pandemic began.
“Our radiology department has seen, I believe they talked about at our last meeting they talked, a decline of about 60 percent just radiology department wide. At SouthCoast and all of the hospitals in town we’re doing everything we can do make it as safe of an environment as possible. I mean, if you think about it, if you’re able to be responsible and wear your masks, socially distance and wash your hands when you go to grocery shop, this is also the time to make your own health a priority. You know, I said the other day, cancer does not stop because of Coronavirus, and that is very real.”
Doctor Jillard says if you have any concerns or questions, you can definitely set up a telehealth appointment ahead of your screening to discuss them. She explained why mammograms are so important.
“The whole point of screening mammograms is specifically the fact that patients do not have symptoms. Period. And so we know that though years and years of research and patients who have come before other patients and have allowed us to do clinical trials that if we catch cancer at an earlier stage, the outcomes are just that much better, and so people die of breast cancer, and the great thing about the technological advancements is we find these things way before oftentimes women have symptoms. And so I really encourage every woman to continue being proactive about her health.”
Doctor Jillard says its generally advised that women begin getting regular mammograms at age 40. Of course, that can differ if there is a family history of breast cancer.