Mobile mammography vans are one way bwin必赢移动版 has expanded access to mammograms during the 新型冠状病毒肺炎 pandemic. (照片:梅丽莎牧师)
By 艾琳·鲍尔斯迈, senior research associate, bwin必赢移动版 Health bwin国际活动 Institute
October signals many things — changing leaves as fall gets into full swing, 南瓜香料——架子上的一切, the excitement of kids as they think up costumes for Halloween. It’s also Breast 癌症 Awareness Month — that time of year when pink ribbons abound in an effort to raise support and awareness for breast cancer screening and survivorship. 我理解它背后的含义. 而是作为一名乳腺癌bwin国际活动人员, I think supporting breast cancer screening and people with breast cancer requires more than pink ribbons once a year. And the 新型冠状病毒肺炎 pandemic has only amplified the importance of supporting breast cancer awareness all year long.
One of the challenges of 新型冠状病毒肺炎 in the acute phase of the global shutdown was providing preventive care that requires individuals to come into clinic for services — like mammography.
At the start of the COVID pandemic, breast cancer screening rates dropped dramatically. 最近的工作 Breast 癌症 Surveillance Consortium (BCSC), a national network of breast imaging facilities across the U.S. including bwin必赢移动版 (KPWA), showed screening rates in April 2020 降至正常水平的1% 与2019年4月的利率相比. Screening rates at the BCSC facilities improved slowly as clinics opened up for nonurgent care but didn’t return to pre-pandemic rates right away. Compared with 2019 rates across all BCSC sites, 2020年5月，这一比例为产能的37%, 6月份的84%, 7月份为90%. Much of the decrease was due to facility closures and limited capacity of screening and diagnostic mammography in 2020. 但有些是由于 人们的担忧 about possibly being exposed to 新型冠状病毒肺炎 when visiting facilities for an in-person screening exam.
The drop in breast cancer screening was no surprise to radiologists at KPWA. After mammography clinics reopened for screening in May 2020, people were still hesitant to return. BCSC的bwin国际活动人员学得很快 what concerned patients about returning for screening by talking with women across the country, 包括一些在KPWA. Women were juggling dual concerns about the risk of 新型冠状病毒肺炎 versus the risk of undetected cancer, and they wanted to feel safe when undergoing screening.
KPWA mammography clinics quickly pivoted to adopt numerous safety measures, including extra cleaning and socially distanced appointments to encourage people to come back. 除了, KPWA increased access and capacity by adding Saturday appointments to several clinics and starting a mobile mammography van that travels to primary care clinics.
自从大流行开始以来, 戴安娜Buist博士, 卡洛琳英格, Deb塞格尔, 我和洛里·麦吉尔一起工作, 克莱尔施普林格, and the KPWA mammography team to monitor how these improvements have met the needs of KPWA members during the pandemic. All the work our clinical teams have been doing — providing socially distanced mammograms and increased access — has definitely made a difference. We are seeing screening mammography numbers back to pre-pandemic levels!
But the 2020 decline in screening is still worrisome. People who missed screening during the pandemic may 还没有接受乳房x光检查. This puts more people at increased risk for a later-stage breast cancer diagnosis and potentially an increased risk of dying of cancer. 还有新型冠状病毒肺炎的delta变种, some people may still be wary of returning to their mammography clinic in-person. 这是完全可以理解的. But it’s also why we can’t limit breast cancer awareness to October. We need to encourage breast cancer awareness during the other 11 months, too. And it’s why I’m proud to work with our mammography leaders at KPWA — they’ve been working non-stop to create more opportunities for people to be screened for breast cancer and increase their chances for early detection all year long.
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