It has been almost a year since most of us found ourselves in the completely unchartered territory of “sheltering in place” because of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the United States and the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has created tragedy beyond what most of us could imagine a year ago, as well as ongoing confusion about so much, including how we can best take charge of our breast and ovarian health.
The guidance has changed as we have learned more and come in and out of different phases of this pandemic. Bright Pink has asked Dr. Deborah Lindner, Bright Pink’s Chief Medical Officer, to offer you the latest answers to your most pressing questions.
Should I wait until I get vaccinated to go in for my well woman exam and mammogram?
Don’t wait! Now is not the time to put your health on hold. Mask up and get in for the care you need and deserve. There was an estimated 63% decrease in mammograms during 2020, putting women at risk for delayed breast cancer diagnoses due to skipped screenings.1 If you’re one of those women, you are already behind and we urge you to schedule your mammogram and well-woman appointments as soon as possible.
Should I time my mammogram for before or after my vaccination?
The Society of Breast Imaging recently put forth a recommendation (2021) to consider, if possible and so long as it does not considerably delay care, scheduling your mammogram prior to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or four or more weeks after your second dose of the vaccine. One of the potential side effects of the COVID-19 vaccines is swollen lymph nodes, which could be mistaken for a sign of breast cancer. Those side effects could occur or last for up to four weeks, so the best course is to delay just a bit to ensure a more accurate reading.
Learn Your Hereditary Cancer Risk
Whether you’ve been diagnosed with cancer or have a family history, hereditary cancer testing provides critical information so you can take control of your health and prioritize prevention. Your genetics are uniquely yours. Now is the time to ensure your medical care plan is equally unique. Take this 1-minute quiz to find out whether you may be at risk for a hereditary cancer.
Unlock the power of your genetics and take control over your health.
Take Our Pledge To Mask Up for Mammograms Bright Pink, Myriad, and The Tigerlily Foundation are committed to helping women take charge of their health in 2021. One of the most important selfcare steps you can take is taking charge of your health. Pledge to schedule your well-woman exam and preventive screenings.
Mask Up for Mammograms is a national awareness campaign to encourage you to put preventive care back onto your “to do” list.
Bright Pink, a non-profit on a mission to save lives from breast and ovarian cancer by empowering women to learn their risk and manage their health proactively.
For nearly 30 years, the mission of Myriad Genetics has been to empower patients and improve their lives by unlocking the power of genetic insights. We help healthcare providers apply precision medicine to better diagnose, treat and prevent disease. Myriad played a leading role in the creation of the genetic testing industry by helping discover and isolate the breast cancer genes (BRCA1/2) nearly 30 years ago. Since then, we have tested over 5 million patients and now have the ability to help predict a woman’s 5-year and remaining lifetime risk of developing breast cancer.
Tigerlily Foundation is a national breast cancer foundation providing education, awareness, advocacy and hands-on support to young women (15-45) – before, during and after breast cancer. Through our programs, we seek to educate and empower women of all backgrounds, including those at heightened risk, those facing health disparities, and those with less access to care. We strive to improve the quality of life and end isolation among breast cancer survivors. Most importantly, we encourage and endeavor to empower fearless females in every stage of their journey, and to show them that they are not alone, but are beautiful, strong like the tiger and the lily, and that they can be transformed – during and after breast cancer.
1. “Delayed Cancer Screenings.” Epic Health Research Network – A Second Look. (June 17, 2020). Retrieved from: https://ehrn.org/articles/delayed-cancer-screenings-a-second-look
This blog post is a collaborative piece between Bright Pink, Tiger Lily and Myriad Women’s Health. It is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult with a health care professional for specific advice related to your situation.
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