Health experts stress importance of annual mammograms

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PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Fewer people are getting breast cancer screenings and mammograms compared to before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele Settelmyer, an APN with the high-risk program at OSF St. Francis, said more people are getting screened now than during the pandemic, but the number is still low.

The goal is early detection for breast cancer; the earlier it’s found, the better the prognosis.

“If we don’t get that early screening, mamogram, and diagnose it early, the outcomes can change,” said Settelmyer. “So, we are really encouraging people to get in and get the mammogram done.”

Settelmyer said women over 40 should get mammograms annually but said people can get screened younger, too.

“Obviously if they’re having any problems, we would see them sooner or even younger. We have different screening methods and diagnostic tools that we can do on younger women as well,” said Settelmyer.

For people who sign up for a screening at OSF St. Francis, she said it’s a safe process. There’s a COVID-19 screening at the door, but people will not have their temperature taken.

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