WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) - In the midst of a pandemic, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. After having to stop screenings back in March, UnityPoint is reminding women to continue to get their mammograms.
According to the American College of Radiology, the national gap in screenings can lead up to 30,000 women having a delayed cancer diagnosis.
Knowing there are safety concerns during a pandemic, UnityPoint lead mammogram technician, Lisa Ellermann wants to assure patients they're taking safety measures seriously.
"We wear a mask, the patient wears a mask, technologists wear eyewear either goggles or a face shield," Ellermann said, "we do sanitize the equipment before and after, we sanitize door knobs, we sanitize chairs, anything the patient might touch."
Ellermann also told "KWWL" the potential delay is concerning, especially when they save more lives through early detection.
"A delay can mean a patient can have invasive cancer that might be a little more difficult to cure as opposed to if we find it really early," Ellermann said.
Patients will be provided a face mask upon entry. Scheduled and walk-in appointments will be available throughout the week. UnityPoint will also be offering extended hours on October 21st and October 27th. Those hours will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Find out which locations are offering evening hours by clicking here.