Leonardtown, MD- The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. Throughout the crisis, many patients found themselves putting off routine medical care—including annual physicals and imaging appointments.

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October, the fall is a popular time to schedule mammograms—and whether or not you postponed your annual check-up earlier this year, there’s no need to delay again. Outpatient Imaging at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital remains open and ready to serve our patients.

For everyone’s safety, new protocols include staggered scheduling of appointments, frequent disinfecting, social distancing, sanitizing stations throughout our facilities, enhanced personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers, and mask requirements for all.

Because many women have no symptoms of breast cancer (and it’s most treatable when caught early), it’s important to undergo regular screenings based on your age and family history.

Women at average risk for breast cancer don’t have a personal or strong family history of the disease, nor a genetic mutation known to increase the risk of breast cancer (such as the BRCA gene), according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). Experiencing any of those factors would place a patient at higher risk, including those who had chest radiation therapy before age 30.

For those who remain at average risk, the ACS recommends:

  • Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year.
  • Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms annually.
  • Women 55 and older can switch to a mammogram every other year, or choose to continue annual mammograms.

COVID-19 shouldn’t put a stop to important screenings. Speak with your primary care provider or gynecologist to determine your risk factors and action plan.

Time for your mammogram? Call 301-475-6399 to schedule your appointment at MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital’s Outpatient Pavilion.

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