Ask Sofia: Can I skip my mammogram this year?
While many women initially postponed mammograms, Pap tests and other screenings during the early days of the pandemic, Breast Cancer Awareness Month and National Mammography Day in October are reminders of the importance of this annual screening for most women. Mammograms can detect breast cancer early before it advances and requires more aggressive treatment, just one of the reasons you should maintain your regular schedule.
If you have been putting off your mammogram this year, or considering skipping it entirely, it might help to know that, like Clinic Sofia, mammography centers, are taking extreme precautions to ensure patient health and safety. Additional cleaning and disinfecting, reduced scheduling and spacing of waiting room seating are among new safety measures. And while you should skip wearing deodorant, you should not skip wearing your mask when you get your mammogram.
“If you ever feel a lump, pain, nipple discharge or experience a change in color or warmth in your breast, please contact your doctor immediately,” said Dr. Erin Stevens. “Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an important reminder to stay on top of breast health, and annual mammograms are such a significant force in reducing the number of fatalities from breast cancer, which is why we are encouraging our patients to schedule one this year if they haven’t already.”
You can talk with your doctor if you are unsure as to whether you require an annual mammogram; most women start receiving mammograms at age 40.