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Breast cancer screenings shouldn't stop because of COVID-19

The important thing to remember about self-exams is conducting them usually once a month, same time every month, and as a backup: regularly scheduled mammograms.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — When October gets here on Thursday, we'll observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. THV11's Craig O'Neill explains why screenings shouldn't stop because of COVID-19.

In years past this is the time of year we'd be gearing up for Race For the Cure, or as it was called last year, the More Than Pink Walk, but of course not this year.

But the impactful message of years past is still being conveyed. We've replaced 22,000 women, with Dr. Sirinya Prasertvit of the CHI St. Vincent Breast Center.

“Every two minutes a woman is diagnosed with breast cancer,” Dr. Prasertvit said.

To keep that discovery from a tragic ending, two words: early detection.

“Self exams by the patient along with clinical exams with the physician,” Dr. Prasertvit said.

The important thing to remember about self exams are conducting them usually once month, same time every month, and as a backup: regularly scheduled mammograms.

“So for women, mammogram screenings should start at the age of 40,” Dr. Prasertvit said.

Dr. Prasertvit said don't let the coronavirus keep you from regular checkups. CHI St. Vincent Breast Center greets you with temperature checks at the door, extra space in the waiting room and timing on your side.

“Spacing out those appointment times so that people have enough room and time to get in and out without being in danger or exposed,” Dr. Prasertvit said.

The years or messaging produced by the race now means that for women who catch breast cancer early, the survival rate is 99 percent.

“You know the biggest thing is that we work together as a team as a team and we offer comprehensive care for breast health,” Dr. Prasertvit said.