Is Your Life In Jeopardy? Missed Screenings Kill Millions
According to the National Cancer Institute Cancer Trends Progress Report, in 2019, 76.4% of women aged 50-74 had mammograms within the previous two years. That percentage remained relatively stable for over 20 years until the pandemic hit. Unfortunately, a study published on June 8, 2022, in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR®) reported that mammography and other breast imaging services are only at 85.3% of pre-pandemic utilization.
This alarming news indicates that more than 5.5 million women who might have scheduled breast cancer screenings during 2020 or 2021 have not done so. In addition, both cervical and colorectal cancer screenings saw similar declines.
As we leave Prostate Cancer Awareness Month and head into Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let this be a reminder to schedule your screening appointments. Remind both men and women you love to get checked out. Yes, it is uncomfortable and maybe even painful, but not nearly as devastating as cancer diagnosis news that comes too late. If caught early at a localized stage (65% of breast cancer cases), the 5-year relative survival rate is 99%, as indicated by the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Yet despite the high survival rate, 43,550 women die from this disease annually - many of those deaths are likely preventable with early detection.
The Bottom Line
While a cancer diagnosis is often unavoidable, with early detection and treatment, it is not a death sentence. If you or a loved one has recently been diagnosed with cancer, please reach out to Cancer Support Community for many free resources to support you and your family as you manage the realities of this disease. They provide help, "so no one faces cancer alone."