SAN ANTONIO – At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Doctor Kate Lathrop with UT Health San Antonio and Mays Cancer Center said doctors were encouraging women to avoid routine check-ups. Now she wants to reassure women that it’s safe to visit their doctor’s office again.
“Every health institution in San Antonio [is] following safety protocols where the physicians and the techs are masking, the machines are being cleaned in between patients very thoroughly and there are screenings, at almost every clinic, at the door. So it’s a safe way to get screened for breast cancer even during COVID. And it’s a very important way to help increase how many women survive despite being diagnosed with breast cancer," she explained in the latest KSAT Q&A.
According to Lathrop, the pandemic isn’t the only reason women tend to avoid getting mammograms. She says some women might be concerned about whether it’s painful, will take a long time or cost them more than they could afford.
“It doesn’t hurt. It’s quick. Almost every insurance will cover it for women. And if you don’t have the means to pay for a mammogram or you don’t have insurance, there are organizations in San Antonio that can help you cover the cost of those mammograms,” she shared from her own experience.
Lathrop also believes some women avoid these check-ups out of fear of a diagnosis.
“Screening is really important in breast cancer. The earlier we can detect breast cancer, the higher the chance of us curing women of that breast cancer,” she stressed.
Lathrop encourages women 40 or older to get routine mammograms every year or at least every two years.