Officials urge breast cancer treatments during COVID-19
Radiation Oncologist Caleb Dulaney, MD at Anderson Regional Cancer Center says patients who are receiving treatment could be at a higher risk of more complications of COVID-19.
“Number one, they’re having to be in the healthcare system and being exposed to more people and more facilities. At the same time, they could be receiving treatment that can impact their immune system. It is still important that they receive that treatment and we don’t compromise the treatment for breast cancer.”
Dr. Dulaney says even though some patients may be afraid to come in for treatments, it’s something that doesn’t need to be put off--worries that the breast cancer could become more advanced.
“Early in the COVID, there were some limitations with mammograms and there were some changes in treating lower risk types of breast cancer, but now that that has lasted for many many months, we have gone back to promoting routine screenings and standard treatments for breast cancer. We’re just a lot more careful on the precautions we take.”
Although, a large amount of screenings haven’t been performed since the beginning of the pandemic, breast cancer cases are still growing.
“Breast cancer did not stop for COVID-19, but at the same time, there were decreased amounts of breast cancer screening earlier during the pandemic. Just because we’re not finding as much breast cancer with much screening, just as much breast cancer is still developing.”
Dr. Dulaney says patients should speak with their doctor to clarify the best decision for their routine screening.