HealthBeat: Getting your mammogram screening


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Sanford Health is seeing a high amount of patients coming in for their annual mammogram screenings.

Annual mammograms are recommended for women age 50 and older, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. But when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, some of those screenings were put on hold.

“There were many reasons people were postponing. Of course, we were actually shut down to screening mammograms for a portion of the crisis. So that clearly delayed people getting their mammograms. Other people were concerned about the risk of infection,” Dr. Chris Johansen said.

Now, with restrictions eased, Dr. Chris Johansen says the number of patients coming in for a mammogram is up.

“They’re far, far above what they would typically be. All of the people who were unable to get in for their mammogram over the last few months because of the COVID crisis are coming in… other people are additionally concerned that in the future, we may have to shut down again and they really want to make sure they don’t miss their mammogram,” Johansen said.

While we can’t predict the future, Johansen says getting in for your mammogram when you have the opportunity is crucial.

“Heaven forbid we end up in a time period where people have to stay home again or are unable to come out for medical care. You want to take advantage of this opportunity to get important things done like your mammogram,” Johansen said.

He says Sanford Health has several measures in place to keep patients safe, and recommends patients do the following things before coming in.

“Check your temperature, make sure that you don’t have any symptoms of the disease. Make sure that you haven’t traveled anywhere where you could have been exposed and then wear your mask,” Johansen said.

Johansen adds that you don’t need a mammogram screening order from your doctor to schedule one.

He says all you need to do is call your doctor and request an appointment.

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