Mammograms During COVID-19

Sandra Templeton, M.D.
Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners in Sugar Land

Regular health screenings with precautions are a valuable tool to help keep people healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, screenings including annual mammograms have come to a stop since the pandemic began. One study, from the electronic medical records system Epic, found that screening mammograms across the U.S. dropped 94 percent in March when concerns over the spread of COVID-19 intensified.

“These are very significant numbers because this could represent a delay in finding and treating breast cancer early on,” said Sandra Templeton, M.D., breast surgeon at Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners in Sugar Land. “One of our most powerful tools is early detection through screening mammograms.”

It is recommended that women ages 20-39 should have a clinical breast exam every three years. At the age of 40, women should have both a clinical breast exam and a mammogram annually. High-risk women should utilize additional screening methods at their doctor’s discretion.

Michelle O’Shea, M.D.
Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners in Sugar Land

“Here at Houston Methodist Sugar Land, we have the latest and most sophisticated imaging technology available, including 3D screening and diagnostic mammography; breast MRI and ultrasound; and biopsies, all read by specialized breast radiologists,” said Michelle O’Shea, M.D., breast surgeon at Houston Methodist Breast Surgery Partners in Sugar Land. “Having everything a patient needs under one roof is a major benefit for our patients and gives us a significant advantage in diagnosing breast cancer at the earliest stages, which means that women have the best chance for complete recovery – all at one location close to home.”

The breast care team works together and communicates frequently to customize each patient-specific treatment plan. We continue to collaborate closely throughout treatment to stay informed of updates and to ensure the best possible outcome.

“Our collaborative approach enables each patient to receive the care they need in a timely and convenient fashion — all here on the Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital campus,” said Templeton. “It eliminates the frustration and anxiety caused by fragmented care — removing the logistical issues and reducing travel time and cost.”

Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s breast care team is committed to ensuring that a patient’s experience is as stress-free as possible. Their personal touch begins the minute patient’s arrive for a screening mammogram and continues throughout every aspect of care, for as long as needed.