from Kaiser Permanente
PORTLAND, Ore. (Oct. 5, 2022): Breast cancer screening rates declined steeply during the pandemic, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reporting a drop as much as 87%. Kaiser Permanente data shows those rates beginning to recover, but the number of people coming in for breast cancer screenings is still 30% below pre-pandemic rates.
October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Kaiser Permanente physicians want to warn that missing regular breast cancer screenings can lead to worse health outcomes. Every woman between ages 40 and 75 is encouraged to catch up on this important preventive care.
“The earlier breast cancer is found, the more easily and successfully it can be treated,” said Dr. Sheila Jhansale, primary care physician lead at Kaiser Permanente Northwest. “As a result of regular self-examinations and mammograms, breast cancer is being detected at an earlier state, but mammogram screening rates are not back to their pre-pandemic numbers.”
Breast cancer will affect one in eight women, according to the CDC, which says that breast cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women. Mammograms have worked wonders for early detection of this cancer, and treatments have made great strides. Death rates in women over age 50 have fallen, according to the American Cancer Society, although the CDC says that African American women are still more likely to die from it.
As a national leader in the percentage of members receiving breast cancer screening, Kaiser Permanente breast cancer patients have a lower mortality rate compared to national benchmarks and we encourage spreading the word this October that screenings can save lives.
Image from: https://gis.cdc.gov/Cancer/USCS/#/AtAGlance/