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Fewer people getting mammograms during the pandemic may be a problem

“Cancer still happens during corona. It doesn't stop for COVID," said CHI St. Joseph's mammographer.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The coronavirus has put a pause on many things, one of them being the number of people going in for their annual mammograms.  

“Cancer still happens during corona. It doesn't stop for COVID," said CHI St. Joseph's Mammographer Kelli Connell. 

According to the CDC, breast cancer is the second most common cancer found in women, and it doesn't take a pause during the pandemic. Connell said it's important to go in and have your routine mammogram because you may not have symptoms at first. 

"Most breast cancers are found so early now that you wouldn't even feel it. It can be so, so tiny that you wouldn't feel it for a very long time," said Connell. 

Although the hospital stopped screening for a short period of time when the pandemic first started, mammograms are back and the staff  encourage you to go in for your checkup. 

"One common misconception is that a mammogram is terribly painful. Our machines are so high tech now, we have 3-D mammography. It's so fast, it take less than five minutes to do a mammogram. Most of my patients say it's not nearly as uncomfortable as it was years ago," said Connell.

Connell also said breast cancer does not discriminate. You can get it at any age. 

"The older we get, the higher the chances of getting any kind of cancer is. So our chance of getting any kind of cancer increases the older we get," said Connell.

 She said to not be afraid to get screened during this time. The staff and facilities have made sure to take all precautions against coronavirus.

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