Pink Up: Doctors say breast cancer screenings are first defense

Breast cancer affects millions of people every year.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - Breast cancer affects millions of people every year.

We focus on prevention and the disease- but radiation oncologist Dr. Sophy Mangana said we don’t talk enough about how the covid pandemic changed access to care.

“We found a lot of women did not stay on schedule,” said Mangana. “Screens were shut down for some time, unfortunately, and then it took a little while for women to come back into their primary care clinics and get their referrals in order to get their screening mammograms.”

She also said research is showing that more women are being diagnosed at later stages, making it harder to fight the disease.

“We are seeing younger women being diagnosed with breast cancer at this time, unfortunately, and sometimes these women are being diagnosed at a later stage than your average type of average-age diagnosed women,” said Mangana.

Also complicating matters, said Mangana, is the rising cost of medical bills. Affording treatment is hard on every individual, but the state of Mississippi offers programs to help.

“We do have a screening program here in Mississippi for breast and cervical cancer,” said Mangana. “So for women who do not have insurance or don’t have the means to pay for screening mammograms, they can look that program up and have their provider help them get screened to be eligible to receive some financial assistance.”

For more information about Mississippi’s screening program, visit the Mississippi State Department of health’s website here.

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