FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Doctors in North Texas are renewing calls for breast cancer screenings.
A recent online survey by the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment, found in the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 44% of women who’ve survived breast cancer delayed care.
Patients like Shannon Brady.
Knowing her family history of breast cancer, she said she was one who would never miss an appointment.
“It runs very high in my family,” Brady said in her backyard in Hudson Oaks. “I never wanted to be diagnosed but I wanted to always catch it on time,” she said.
But the pandemic postponed her appointment by months.
When the cases came down, she said she took the first chance to get a mammogram.
At that screening, doctors found a lump – an invasive ductal carcinoma.
Her cancer had spread.
Stories like these worry Doctor Robyn Young, medical oncologist at The Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Fort Worth.
She says breast cancer is much easier to treat when caught early.
“If you catch the cancer early there is a good chance that it has not gotten into the blood stream,” Dr. Young said. “Do not wait six months or a year to see if it goes away.”
Breast self-exam and yearly checkups help with early detection.
Routine mammograms are recommended after age 40, but if you find a lump, Dr. Young says a detailed diagnostic mammogram is required.
Brady’s cancer was caught early. The grandmother of three says she is prepared for the road ahead.
“I thought there was a reason for all this. this may just be a part of my journey doesn’t mean that this is my destination.“
She’s getting ready for a surgery and then at least eight weeks of radiation therapy.
“I am no longer scared. I could only get through it that my story will resonate with someone else that’s all I can hope,” she said.
It is raising money for programs that help women get care and treatment.