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Sharp Health News

Don’t delay getting your mammogram

Oct. 16, 2020

Charity Siasoco, a mammography specialist at Sharp Coronado Hospital, with the 3D mammogram equipment.

Charity Siasoco, a mammography specialist at Sharp Coronado Hospital, with the 3D mammogram equipment.

Early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, you may have put off routine medical appointments, including your mammogram. But as cases continue to grow and it’s clear that COVID-19 will be with us for a while, you may be wondering if it’s safe to schedule your regular breast screening.

“As long as you’re not feeling sick or having any COVID-19 symptoms, it is safe to get a mammogram,” says Michelle Nguyen, manager of imaging and cardiovascular services at Sharp Coronado Hospital.

According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in women. Though 1 in 8 women will receive a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, many have no symptoms at first. That’s why regular breast self-exams and mammograms are essential.

“We know from many large clinical trials and observational studies that breast cancer screening saves lives,” says Nguyen. “Mammography screening can detect cancer early, when it is the easiest to treat. It can even detect cancer before a lump can be felt.”

Sharp Coronado offers a specialized breast cancer screening called tomosynthesis, also known as 3D mammography. This type of imaging can uncover breast abnormalities unseen in traditional mammograms, allowing doctors to detect breast cancer earlier.

“A 3D mammogram takes multiple pictures of the breast tissue to create a 3D image of the breast. With a better image of the breast, we’re able to more accurately find and diagnose breast cancer,” says Nguyen.

While the pandemic is a scary and stressful time, it is important to stick to your usual screening schedule. Sharp Coronado has extra safety precautions in place and health screenings for all patients, doctors and staff entering the hospital.

“At Sharp Coronado Hospital, we’ve gone above and beyond to keep patients and employees safe when they’re in our facility,” says Nguyen.

Sharp Coronado is taking the following precautions to keep all patients and employees safe:
  • Screening everyone for COVID-19 symptoms and checking their temperature at the main entrance of the facility.
  • Providing medical face masks for everyone to wear at the facility at all times.
  • Limiting seating and staggering appointments to allow for social distancing.
  • Rigorous cleaning and disinfecting of the facility and equipment frequently throughout the day.
Most women should get routine mammograms beginning at age 40. Women at increased risk for breast cancer may need more frequent screening starting at a younger age. Please check with your doctor about what frequency is recommended for you based on your family and medical history.

“If you are due for a mammogram, I encourage you to schedule one today,” says Nguyen.

To make a mammogram appointment at Sharp Coronado Hospital, use the convenient online scheduling tool or call 619-522-3670. Learn more about breast screenings at other Sharp locations.

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