Efforts Continue to Close the Pandemic Screening Gap
Poughkeepsie, NY-October 20, 2022–1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. This fact translates to nearly 45-thousand women who will die from breast cancer in the United States this year.
“We’re seeing new cases on the rise, and these cases are more advanced cancers,” says Dr. Bareia Chaudhry, Oncologist with Hudson Valley Cancer Center, let by Dr. Ram Kancherla.
Dr. Chaudhry attributes this to the COVID-19 Pandemic, when many screening facilities closed temporarily, and many people were afraid to visit hospitals and healthcare facilities for fear of contracting the virus.
There have been nearly 300,000 estimated new cases of breast cancer in 2022, according to data released by Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER), an authoritative source for cancer statistics in the United States.
“The good news is that research did not take a break during the pandemic, and it continues,” says Chaudhry. “More targeted therapies are ongoing to help individualize care for patients and to help improve survival.”
This past year, the drug Pembolizumab (largely known as Keytruda) was approved by the Food and Drug Administration as an immunotherapy to address advanced triple negative breast cancer, high-risk triple negative breast cancer as well as other types of specific cancers.
Immunotherapy is a treatment that activates a person’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells. Combined with chemotherapy, immunotherapy has been shown to improve overall survival among patients.
Currently, there is a new effort led by the American College of Surgeons and the American Cancer Society to help cancer facilities bring their screening rates back up to pre-pandemic levels.
“The best weapon again breast cancer is still the mammogram,” says Chaudhry. “The earlier we detect breast cancer, the better chances you have of beating it.”
For more information, visit HudsonValleyCancerCenter.com or call 845-454-1942