NYC Health + Hospitals have reminded New Yorkers to schedule a mammogram as the health care system observes National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Breast cancer is the second-most common form of cancer among women in the United States after skin cancer. Men can also get breast cancer, although such cases are rare. In the U.S., breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among women, after lung cancer. About 970 women in New York City die from breast cancer each year and about 6,300 are newly diagnosed. Black women tend to have a higher death rate from breast cancer than their White, Latino, and Asian/Pacific Islander counterparts. To schedule a mammogram or other breast cancer screening, New Yorkers should call 844-NYC-4NYC (844-692-4692). If you already have a primary care doctor at NYC Health + Hospitals or Gotham Health, they can help you set up an appointment. Referrals can also be made as part of a routine virtual visit with your provider.
Mammograms cannot prevent breast cancer, but they are the best way to find it early. When breast cancer is detected before it has spread beyond the breast, the survival rate is 99 percent. Some people who have breast cancer have no signs or symptoms. Early detection can help you prevent breast cancer from spreading to other parts of your body. Women between the ages of 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Experts recommend that women 45 to 54 years old get a mammogram every year. Those 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or they can choose to continue yearly mammograms.
“Getting a late-stage breast cancer diagnosis is tragic. But finding breast cancer early could be a tragedy averted,” said NYC Health + Hospitals Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Machelle Allen, MD. “Routine breast cancer screenings save lives. NYC Health + Hospitals has appointments available and these exams only take about 20 minutes to complete. Do it for yourself and the people you love most.”
“It is even more important for women to get a mammogram if they have postponed or skipped this vital screening because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We encourage all women to schedule their mammogram at NYC Health + Hospitals as soon as possible,” said NYC Health + Hospitals System Chief of Radiation Oncology Sewit Teckie, MD, MBA.