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Dignity Health: Doctors encourage women to get screened for breast cancer


SANTA MARIA, Calif. - When it comes to breast cancer screenings, doctors at Dignity Health say some women are delaying their appointments.

"We’re already seeing the effects of that. Some women are coming in with cancers that are a little more advanced than they should be," said Dr. Stephen Holtzman with Dignity Health.

Doctors say there’s no reason for women to hold off on coming in for a screening, even during the pandemic.

"We have a lot of safety precautions in place and you should absolutely come in for your mammogram," said Holtzman.

While some cancers grow more quickly than others, doctors would rather catch them at the earliest possible stage.

"If we catch the cancer early enough, we can catch the cancer before it spreads and that increases your chances of survival," said Holtzman.

Doctors say women over the age of 40 should come in for a mammogram.

But if you are high-risk, you’ll want to start coming in at age 35.

"I just had a baby so I’ve been going to doctor appointments all year, and they’re super safe - you wear a mask, they check your temperature," said Magdalena Torres of Santa Maria.

Torres says she has had no difficulty getting her routine screenings during the pandemic

"It shouldn’t be an excuse not to go. I think breast cancer is one of the ones where not every woman checks herself. So you have to go get that screening done," said Torres.

Doctors also want to remind people about all routine health screenings.

"I've seen people who didn’t want to come in with abdominal pain, and then they have a ruptured appendix, and it’s much harder to treat," said Holtzman.

In other words, if you need to go to the hospital, you should go as soon as possible just as you would have before.

Article Topic Follows: Health

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Patricia Martellotti

Patricia Martellotti is a reporter for News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Patricia, click here.


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