Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is cancer that forms in the breast. Breast cancer occurs in men and women, but male breast cancer is very rare. For more information about breast cancer in men, visit the National Cancer Institute – General Information about Male Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths among women in the United States. All women can get breast cancer. It is most often found in women ages 50 and older. Regular check-ups and screening tests can find breast cancer at an earlier stage, when it is easiest to treat. The most important action women can take is to have routine breast cancer screenings. Early detection is the key to survival.

Breast Cancer Screening and COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic caused many people to miss their mammograms. If you are due for a mammogram, do not wait. Call your health care provider to schedule your appointment as soon as you can. If you are having any symptoms of breast cancer, call your health care provider right away. Getting a mammogram regularly is the best way to find breast cancer early, when it may be easier to treat.

Health care providers are taking steps so that important health visits can happen safely. All staff and patients must wear masks and be screened for COVID-19 symptoms before going in the office. Equipment, exam rooms and dressing rooms are cleaned after each patient. Other safety steps may include socially distanced waiting rooms, on-line check in, and more time added between appointments.

Breast Cancer Screening and COVID-19 Vaccine

Talk to your health care provider about whether to schedule your screening mammogram before the first dose of any COVID-19 vaccine or 4-6 weeks after your final dose of vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines may cause swelling of lymph nodes in the armpit on the side of the body that the shot was given. This is normal and will go away over time. But swollen lymph nodes under the arm can also be a symptom of breast cancer and may show up on a mammogram. This may lead to more tests.

Do not delay your mammogram if you are having any problems with your breasts or have breast cancer symptoms. See your health care provider as soon as possible about your concerns. Together you will decide when is the right time for your mammogram.