Articles Good Health

Love Yourself: Mammograms are a Must (Even During a Pandemic)

By Alicia Wanek

Many of us have had to put something in our lives on hold this year.  Vacations have been delayed until it’s safer to travel. Major purchases may be on the back burner until the economy stabilizes.  Weddings are postponed until all the friends and family can gather to celebrate.  The one thing we should not wait on is taking care of our health, and for women, it’s especially important to get your mammogram on the calendar.  Stephanie Corbin-Helms, Regional Director of Marketing for Envision Radiology points out, “Too often, as caregivers, women take care of others first and neglect themselves…You need to make it a priority to take care of yourself, too.”

According to an analysis by Epic Health Research Network, during the period from March 15 to June 16 of this year 285,000 breast cancer screenings were missed, a 63% decrease from an average year.  How that will translate into missed breast cancer diagnoses remains to be seen. Dr. Tyler Scimeca from Envision says, “It’s vitally important that women schedule a mammogram every one to two years if they are age 40 or above.  If they have any genetic predisposition or family history of breast cancer, those screening mammograms should begin even younger.”

“Too often, as caregivers, women take care of others first and neglect themselves…You need to make it a priority to take care of yourself, too.”
Stephanie Corbin-Helms, Envision Radiology

Breast imaging technology has come a long way in recent years. Of course, monthly breast self-exams should be routine for all women, but radiologic exams can detect crucial changes long before they can be felt.  Envision offers routine screening mammograms at their facilities across DFW, but if a radiologist detects anything suspicious, they offer full diagnostic mammography. Dr. Scimeca says, “Any changes in findings from a previous mammogram, suspicious masses, or dense breast tissue can lead to the need for more complex imaging.” Envision has just added Dallas and Frisco locations along with four other sites in DFW that now offer 3D mammograms.  These images offer more detailed views through overlapping breast tissue for the earliest detection of breast cancer and fewer false positives. Of course, Envision wants all patients to rest assured knowing that whatever procedures they need will be offered in the safest environment.  Stephanie Corbin-Helms assures, “We are taking all precautions to keep staff and patients safe and incorporating all proper PPE protocols.”

“Any changes in findings from a previous mammogram, suspicious masses, or dense breast tissue can lead to the need for more complex imaging.”
Dr. Tyler Scimeca, Envision Radiology

Breast cancer survivor Meya Martinez is grateful for the advanced imaging that detected her cancer in its early stages.  Meya says, “At the age of 31, I went in to get a mammogram, followed by an ultrasound.  It was then they decided to perform a biopsy that proved I had an aggressive form of breast cancer.  Thanks to the thorough imaging, my cancer was caught early.  Eleven years later I’m doing great.”  It’s sometimes hard to recognize in the midst of taking care of everyone else, that loving yourself is just as important. In the end, taking that time to watch out for your own health can ensure you, like Meya, are around for those you love.

Editor’s Note: Envision Radiology offers world-class imaging services. For more information, visit their website at envrad.com.

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