Doctors concerned after 1000s of missed mammograms due to COVID

The coronavirus consumed much of daily life in March for the Houston region, including things that are necessary but not constant, such as cancer screenings.

An IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science report published in April shows that a reduction of cancer screenings in the three months leading up to June 5 may have resulted in 36,000 delayed breast cancer diagnoses in the U.S.

However, the impacts of coronavirus on mammograms depended on the severity of the spread of cases in that region, according to studies presented on July 22 at the American Association of Cancer Research Virtual Meeting: COVID-19 and Cancer.


Later detection could have an impact on the death rate, said Jessica Jones, assistant professor of oncology at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth and an attending physician at Memorial Hermann Cancer Center.

“Research has shown that with medication, MRIs and mammograms we can effectively reduce breast cancer risks by 50 percent and curative rate, if we catch it early, is at 98 percent,” Jones said. “Every woman can get a personalized risk assessment predicting her chance of breast cancer.”

Closing the gap

In the Houston region, hospital systems and breast cancer prevention nonprofits are trying to get screenings back on track.

Memorial Hermann recently rolled out its Breast Cancer Prevention Program at both the Texas Medical Center and UT Physicians Multispecialty Clinic-Bayshore.

Meanwhile, nonprofits like Project Mammogram and The Rose are raising funds through online campaigns to provide free mammograms for low income people.

The Breast Cancer Prevention Program specializes in treating women who have higher risks of breast cancer with medication and additional screening. The program has been in the works for one year due to women getting less and less breast cancer screenings, Jones said. Although it’s currently only at two locations, the program is available for patients of any Memorial Hermann hospital in the Houston area.

“We have missed 36,000 (cases) of breast cancer already so this breast cancer awareness month is more important than ever,” Jones said.

Returning to the office

Ashmitha Srinivasan, chair of the breast division with Synergy Radiology Associates, said in March they were asking mammogram seekers to stay home for two reasons: they needed to make sure that they had enough personal protective equipment for medical staff and they wanted to minimize the exposure of the coronavirus to the community.

Now they know by wearing masks, washing hands often and through physical distancing, communities can slow down the spread of the coronavirus, Srinivasan said.

They screen patients for any COVID-19 exposure when they call to set up their appointments and when they arrive to the office. Every patient is provided with surgical masks as well, even if they have a homemade mask. Technologists are well equipped with PPE and minimize their exposure to patients.

“So now, in September, we are recommending that the patients who we said please do not come in for a screening mammogram back in March,

Survey: Americans are Concerned About Their Physical Fitness and Mental Health

Survey: Americans are Concerned About Their Physical Fitness and Mental Health – Yet Resolved to Take Charge of Their Self-Care

PR Newswire

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 29, 2020

Sports Nutrition Leader OPTIMUM NUTRITION® offering free expert training and advice to restart a healthy lifestyle routine through the brand’s BETTER THAN BEFORE program

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill., Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The COVID-19 pandemic has Americans concerned about their physical and mental well-being. A new survey* reveals a majority of Americans are exercising less, with nearly half gaining weight and neglecting healthy eating as they deal with feelings of isolation and perceived barriers to maintaining their health and fitness. Yet, a majority are resolving to emerge stronger, with nearly nine in 10 Americans hoping to improve at least one aspect of their self-care. Global sports nutrition leader, OPTIMUM NUTRITION (“ON”), commissioned the survey and is aiming to help people be BETTER THAN BEFORE with an ongoing program of free training sessions, dynamic workouts, and a social community of support on the brand’s social channels.

Resolving to help Americans facing fitness and wellness challenges, Optimum Nutrition offering free, expert training and advice to support a healthy lifestyle through BETTER THAN BEFORE livestreamed events: running Oct. 5 -9 on Optimum Nutrition's Instagram (@optimumnutrition).
Resolving to help Americans facing fitness and wellness challenges, Optimum Nutrition offering free, expert training and advice to support a healthy lifestyle through BETTER THAN BEFORE livestreamed events: running Oct. 5 -9 on Optimum Nutrition’s Instagram (@optimumnutrition).

ON’s upcoming BETTER THAN BEFORE series of free livestreamed events (running October 5th-9th), will offer expert coaching in fitness, nutrition and mental health. The sessions – including workouts, information sessions and Q&A – will feature leading fitness professionals, influencers and celebrities, along with registered dieticians and health providers.

“COVID-19 has disrupted our fitness and nutrition routines and it’s taught us a lot about ourselves. We commissioned this survey to measure how we could support consumers maintaining their fitness and self-care routines. We found that while Americans have weathered significant setbacks, they are resolved to take charge of their own health and fitness,” said Sarah Lombard, marketing director for ON.

“Supporting those who are making a commitment to their fitness in in our brand DNA and we’ve done it for over 30 years. ON is responding to this moment by pulling together some of our strongest trainers and experts to support people on their quest to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even for those who are struggling with their motivation and changes to their finances and gym access,” said Lombard.

Snapshot of a Pandemic-Weathered Nation
ON survey results show that a majority of Americans (62%) are concerned with their overall health. Healthy habits such as workouts and pickup sports games with friends have taken a back seat of late, with 63% of respondents admitting they are not as active as they’d like to be.

More than half (51%) are exercising less than before the pandemic: 45% report gaining weight and 42% say they are eating less healthy. And a majority of respondents (85%) say they are facing barriers to getting healthier, be it a lack of motivation (38%), lack of financial resources (33%) or