Huntsville Hospital Breast Center wants to remind women to get mammograms

The National Cancer Institute predicts an additional 10,000 deaths in the next 10 years could occur from breast and colon cancers.

Posted: Oct 15, 2020 6:18 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2020 6:52 PM

The National Cancer Institute predicts an additional 10,000 deaths in the next 10 years could occur from breast and colon cancers. The group says people avoiding cancer screenings and medical appointments due to fears of catching coronavirus will be to blame.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and WAAY 31 spoke with Dr. Libby Shadinger, medical director at Huntsville Hospital Breast Center, about the importance of women still getting screened.

About one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. Shadinger said that's why it's critical for women to still get their annual mammograms to detect cancer early on.

“Our best bet of early detection is when you can’t feel it and that is what these mammograms are for, they do see those and we pick those up regularly that a woman wouldn’t feel for years," said Shadinger.

If people wait until they see a noticeable change, there's a greater chance the cancer will be harder to treat.

“By the time patients can feel it, there’s a much larger risk of having to undergo chemotherapy or a larger surgery that you might not have had to otherwise," said Shadinger.

While the coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot in our lives, it hasn't stopped cancer.

“Unfortunately, coronavirus and cancer, they don’t speak to each other, there are no memos going out, life is going on as usual," said Shadinger. "Unfortunate health problems continue to happen even with coronavirus going on so we really want everybody to stay diligent on both sides."

The Huntsville Hospital Breast Center wants you to know it is taking many safety precautions so you can feel safe from the virus while getting screened for breast cancer.

Shadinger said the center is close to seeing its normal number of patients, but wants to remind women to get their annual mammograms if they haven't already.

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