UMMS urges women to continue with breast cancer screenings during pandemic

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The University of Maryland Medical System is urging women to continue with their annual screening mammograms during the pandemic and has produced a Public Service Announcement to promote the message. Here are the details provided:

UMMS “Don’t Delay Mammogram” Public Service Announcement Encourages Women To Act On Health Even During COVID-19 Pandemic

System’s October 21st “Let’s Talk About Health” Webinar Focuses On Women’s Health & Breast Cancer

BALTIMORE (October15, 2020) – The University of Maryland Medical System has released an internally-produced Public Service Announcement, “Schedule A Mammogram,” urging women to not delay care and schedule their annual screening mammogram now if it has been delayed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The PSA was created by the System’s Creative Communications team and is being shared with media outlets across the state and posted on social media accounts for UMMS’ member organizations.

“COVID-19 put plenty of plans on hold,” the PSA states, with a call to action supported by catchy visuals and music. “If your annual mammogram coincided with the pandemic, now is the time to schedule an appointment. It’s as easy as riding a bike, simple as pie, something you can do with your eyes shut. Stop putting it off, because these screenings detect early cancers which can save lives. Don’t delay getting your annual mammogram, do it now.” 

The “Don’t Forget to Get Your Annual Mammogram” PSA can be viewed on the UMMS You Tube channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KciXxYQfYUc.

Breast cancer is the second-highest cause of death among women in Maryland, exceeded only by lung cancer. In Maryland in 2020, the American Cancer Society (ACS) estimates there will be 34,710 new cases of breast cancer diagnosed across the state and 10,790 deaths.

“Screening mammograms save lives by detecting breast cancer early when it is more easily treated,” said Katherine H.R. Tkaczuk, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Director of the Breast Evaluation and Treatment Program at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center. “We want to assure women that having a mammogram now is safe and urge them to not delay having their regularly scheduled exams because of their concerns about COVID-19.” 

UMMS is also addressing women’s health issues with another installment of the System’s free lunchtime “Let’s Talk About Health” webinars. On October 21 at 12 p.m., Nakia Renee Ware, CRNP, a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner with University of Maryland Charles Regional Health, will be presenting about women’s health topics, including mental and physical health, covering issues including breast cancer and domestic violence. Registration information is available at umms.org/letstalk

“During the pandemic, many women have put off attending to their medical needs, including regular well-woman exams and management of chronic conditions. This webinar will help you identify the care you need,” said Ware. 

Across the United States this year, ACS estimates:

  • About 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women. 
  • About 48,530 new cases of carcinoma in situ (CIS) will be diagnosed (CIS is non-invasive and is the earliest form of breast cancer). 
  • About 42,170 women will die from breast cancer.