Annual Cancer Screenings Decline Due To COVID-19, Leading To Delayed Diagnoses


Tuesday, October 5th 2021, 6:19 pm



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The Chapman Breast Center at Hillcrest said COVID-19 stopped many people from getting their annual cancer screenings leading to a lot more cases of late-stage detection.

Local medical experts are making a difference in the battle against breast cancer and the search for a cure.

One in eight women develop breast cancer in their lifetime, and up until recently, 86-year-old Faye Brown always fell on the right side of that statistic.

"The radiologist called me the next day or so and I couldn't believe it,” said Brown. 

Brown said she’s always been religious about getting a mammogram every year.

"I've always been real health conscious. I am a retired nurse,” said Brown. 

For longest time everything looked great, until about three years ago when her doctors at Chapman Breast Center discovered a small tumor in her right breast. Luckily, they caught it early, and Brown was able to undergo less invasive surgery and radiation.

“I'm sure that if it hadn't of been caught, I'd had a major surgery or wouldn't be here today,” said Brown. 

The Chapman Breast Center celebrates 25 years today and Brown is one of its success stories.

Manager Bonnie Stogsdill said she's living proof that early detection matters.

"We can get it as early as stage 0. That truly changes the treatment plan for the patient,” said Stogsdill.

Stogsdill said a 20-minute appointment could tack 20 years onto your life.

"Call your sister, call your friend. and schedule them together,” said Stogsdill.

The center added on a brand-new unit this year cutting down significantly on wait times. It sees on average 10,000 patients a year.

However, Stogsdill said they saw a sharp decrease in patients during the height of the pandemic leading to an increase in stage 2 and 3 diagnoses.

Brown said nothing, not even COVID-19, will keep her from getting a mammogram.

"You have to continue on,” said Brown.

The Chapman Breast Center has conducted more than 200,000 mammograms in its 25 years.

For more information on the Center, click here.

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