The pandemic, in certain parts of the country, is leading to big drops in breast cancer screening. This is prevalent mostly among low-income women.
The revelation was made after analyzing 32 healthcare centers that served low-income communities. The study showed an 8% drop in breast cancer screening among low-income women, in the age range of 54-74 in the time period of July 2020 and July 2021. This eliminated the 8% increase of the same during the previous year.
Pandemic Leads To Drop In Breast-Cancer Screening Among Older And Low-Income Women
The study deserves utmost importance, say, experts. Low-income women generally don’t get the healthcare they deserve. Deaths due to breast cancer are also more prevalent among them.
If the increasing percentage during the previous years would have continued, 63% of women would have been screened for breast cancer among low-income women in 2020. At present, the same is just 50%. The journal also gives a statistical analysis of the situation.
The interesting news is that the centers that participated in the survey had been receiving grants for screening breast cancer from the American Cancer Society.
Health experts still don’t know how the pandemic affected the same in the country as a whole.
Programs that were initiated earlier that remained open throughout 2020 may have minimized the impact of the pandemic on breast cancer screening, experts hope.
This decline in the rate of screening brings to light the need to allocate more funds and other resources for the purpose. Healthcare providers will have to identify those who require regular breast cancer screening.
Here are a few ways to stay safe from breast cancer:
- Know the likelihood
Protection from cancer comes from knowing your risk. Undergo breast cancer screening at regular intervals. If you fall in the high-risk group, follow the recommendations from your healthcare provider.
Genetics and the age of your menopause too play a vital role here. The likelihood of cancer increases for those who had children after 30. Try to talk about it during family gatherings. This way, you will know if your family has a history of breast cancer.
- Maintain the standard bodyweight
Regulating your body weight, according to health experts, is a must for everyone. It protects you from breast cancer and numerous other ailments. This is of utmost significance after menopause.
- Aim to become a mother
See to it that your first child is born before you turn 30. Studies show that breastfeeding, at least for 180 days, reduces the risk of breast cancer.
- Stay active
Working out at regular intervals is a wonder tonic for your body. This is the easiest way to manage your body weight. The generally recommended duration of exercise is half an hour a day. Those who exercise regularly, studies show, minimize the possibility of breast cancer.
- Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. Regulate your alcohol intake.
- Bid farewell to smoking.
- Try to breast-feed as much as possible.
- Avoid birth-control pills. This is of great importance if you are a smoker.
- Refrain from taking hormones, especially after menopause.
You should also examine yourself at regular intervals. Be alert for the following signs:
- A lump or thickening
- Lumps under the arms
- Change of size or shape of your breast
- Pain in the nipple or discharge from it
- Rashes, itching or scales on nipples
- Warmth or swelling
Talk to your doctor if you notice anything strange.
Joining a research program too will help a lot. This way, you will stay safe from cancer. You will also be of service to your fellow women in this regard.
Stay healthy, remain alert and save yourself from breast cancer. It still remains one of the main causes of death among low-income women in the country.