In March 2020, Pennsylvania enacted a stay-at-home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Healthcare providers across the state cancelled and rescheduled routine screening appointments. Many organizations, including Susan G. Komen Foundation, encouraged women to delay routine screening mammograms because of concerns about COVID-19 transmission and potential overburdening of healthcare system. Six months later, many women are asking, “Is it safe to get a mammogram?”
Routine screenings are important. Breast cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer when caught early. Your medical provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits of being screened now or postponing your screening until a later date. If you do not have a family history or other risk factors, your medical provider may tell you that you can wait up to 24 months between screenings. The American Cancer Society recommends that women of average risk do not exceed two years between mammograms. If you have symptoms of breast or cervical cancer, you should schedule an appointment immediately.
Hospitals and imaging centers across the state are reopening for routine screening mammograms. The availability of screening appointments and operating procedures may vary by location based on the prevalence of COVID-19 cases in your area. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued the following recommendations for healthcare providers:
• Screening centers should be available to answer questions from patients before and/or after the screening procedure.
• Patients should be pre-screened for COVID-related symptoms before screening appointments.
• Scheduling of appointments should allow for physical distance between patients in waiting rooms and patient care areas.
• There should be limitations on visitors to the facility.
• Surfaces should be frequently disinfected. A screening center should be able to tell you how often surfaces are disinfected.
• Everyone should wear a face covering or mask.
Adagio Health manages two cancer screening programs
: the Pennsylvania Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCEDP) and the Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP). Both programs provide cancer screening and diagnostic services to qualifying Pennsylvania residents.
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (BCCEDP)
covers breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic testing including clinical breast exams, Pap tests and HPV screening, cervical diagnostic testing, screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast MRIs, breast ultrasounds, and breast biopsies. The BCCEDP is available for uninsured and underinsured women ages 21 and over. Eligibility is based on income and household size.
Adagio Health is a proud partner of Susan G. Komen Greater Pennsylvania and Susan G. Komen Upstate New York. The Komen-funded Mammogram Voucher Program (MVP)
provides screening and diagnostic mammograms, breast ultrasounds, and breast biopsies to uninsured women and men in 56 counties of Pennsylvania.
The Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention and Treatment Program (BCCPT) is available to Pennsylvania women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer, breast cancer, or a breast or cervical pre-cancerous condition. The program is available to Pennsylvania residents and US citizens under the age of 65 who lack credible health insurance. There are no income limitations, and this program offers full coverage for treatment as well as other medical needs. The BCCPT is administered by Adagio Health through the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Each October we celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness month. This year, do not hesitate to reach out to Adagio Health for more information at 1-800-215-7494