Many people have been putting off regular medical checkups during the COVID-19 pandemic, due to concerns about contracting the virus. Unfortunately, doing so could have disastrous results. A U.S. Senator is using her breast cancer diagnosis to remind people to keep being vigilant and to schedule important screenings.
Thursday, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that she had been diagnosed with and treated for Stage 1A breast cancer earlier this year. In a statement, she said that during a routine mammogram in February, calcifications were detected. A follow-up biopsy confirmed that it was breast cancer. She had a lumpectomy soon after and a course of radiation in May. Fortunately, her team determined in August that the treatment went well.
I wanted to share an update about my health. https://t.co/0yGWuw4OKV
— Amy Klobuchar (@amyklobuchar) September 9, 2021
She said, “Of course this has been scary at times, since cancer is the word all of us fear, but at this point my doctors believe that my chances of developing cancer again are no greater than the average person.”
In the statement, she went on to highlight the fact that so many people have been missing their regular preventative appointments during the pandemic, saying that she was one of them. She also noted that due to this, there are likely thousands of people who may be living with undetected breast cancer. In addition, doctors are diagnosing issues that became more serious than they would have been If they were caught sooner.
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While she says that’s understandable, given how much people – particularly parents – are juggling right now, it’s still important to get those appointments scheduled.
Her statement says, “It’s easy to put off health screenings, just like I did. But I hope my experience is a reminder for everyone of the value of routine health checkups, exams, and follow-through. I am so fortunate to have caught the cancer at an early enough stage and to not need chemotherapy or other extensive treatments, which unfortunately is not the case for so many others.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 40% of Americans have reported putting off medical care during the pandemic. If you’ve found yourself among them and are overdue on your mammogram, it may be a good idea to schedule it now.