The Basser Center understands that for BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutation carriers and others at high risk of cancer, COVID-19 may have disrupted screening schedules and surgical plans. While each situation is unique, we offer the following general advice.
Those at risk for cancer undergoing screening appointments should be aware that whether or not to get your recommended screening or proceed with preventative surgery depends greatly on what is happening in your community.
If you are up to date on your breast MRI (done within the last year) and your area has active COVID-19 cases, delaying your screening mammogram will make sense in most situations (but not if you are having symptoms). Delaying mammograms minimizes your social contact but also allows for radiologists to be mobilized to read chest x-rays and CT scans for sick patients.
Most elective surgeries — such as preventative surgeries for BRCA mutation carriers and those at risk for cancer — are being delayed in areas with COVID-19 activity. This is being done for three reasons: to keep you safe, to save ‘PPE’ (personal protective equipment like masks and gowns) for front line healthcare workers, and to save ventilators for patients who need them.
We recommend that you speak with your local providers. If you are a patient here at the Basser Center, please call 215-349-9093 if you have questions about your appointments. Most appointments are being converted to telemedicine.
We strongly advise all individuals to follow local and federal recommendations regarding COVID-19 and social distancing. We need everyone to “bend the curve” and minimize the impact of this surreal situation. Our community is strong and we will get through this over time as we support each other.