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Breast cancer awareness month: Doctors urge people to get tested during pandemic

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama – October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, an annual campaign to educate people about the impact of the disease.

According to local health experts, many people put preventive doctor checks by the wayside at the start of the pandemic.

Mammograms and breast cancer screening begin at age 40 for women at average risk. According to radiologist and director of the Huntsville and Madison Hospital Breast Centers, Dr. Libby Shadinger, 1 in 8 women is considered to be at average risk for breast cancer.

“At the start it touched us a lot,” Shadinger said. “In the spring of 2020, by governor’s warrant, all screening mammograms ceased for approximately six weeks, so routine screening mammograms did not take place.”

“We’ve always seen patients who had a problem, those who were diagnosed with breast cancer or thought they had breast cancer, but the large number of patients that we would normally see just for the routine, we didn’t see them. “

Shadinger explained that life did not stop during the pandemic and that cancer controls are as important as ever. She said 12.5% ​​of women will get breast cancer in their lifetime.

“Overall, I’m afraid this will be a negative impact. They have done studies showing that it is possible for 10,000 more women to die from breast cancer due to screening failure like we normally do, ”she said.

The Huntsville Hospital Women’s Building Breast Center is starting to get busier as people realize that too much time has passed between appointments.

“We still have people with a bit of fear,” Shadinger said. “I think people have lost the fear of being together, but we are afraid that we will find something now because we have been through a lot with family members who have illnesses, so they don’t want to. this piece more. bad news.

Dr Shadinger said there are appointments available for screenings and mammograms, so if you need them, don’t wait to book.