Early detection is key in the fight against breast cancer

PITTSBURGH — Cancer doesn’t follow the rules. It won’t wait for the pandemic to subside. That’s the big message from Allegheny Health Network.

One out of every eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer.

“The earlier we catch it, the easier it is to treat,” said Dr. Robin Sobolewski, AHN’s Director of breast imaging.

Patient mammograms came to a standstill when COVID-19 cases first showed up in Western Pennsylvania, but now AHN officials want to remind women to not wait any longer.

“A lot of us have kids, jobs, partners, parents to take care of,” said Sobolewski. “I can’t tell you how many patients have told me they put this off because they were taking care of a loved one.”

AHN is following all CDC guidelines at this time, including spacing out appointments to allow for more social distancing. They’ve added weekend hours and are extending the day in the morning and evening to accommodate patients.

“Since we have been going through the pandemic, we’ve been carefully cleaning high-touch areas throughout the day, including waiting rooms, dressing rooms, exams rooms. We’ve also restructured our schedule from a year ago,” Sobolewski added.

AHN wants you to “Pink-Out” your calendar, and to remember early detection is key.

“It’s a very quick test, and it could save your life.  It’s very important to come in and have that screening mammogram done,” Sobolewski said.

The doctor also added self-exams are very important, but they should be done in addition to regular mammograms.

For more information, go to http://ahn.org/pinkout.